Counsels on Stewardship


As a Gift, Not as a Right

Peter said, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore? This question on the part of Peter showed that he thought that a certain amount of work on the part of the apostles would be deserving of a certain amount of reward. Among the disciples there was a spirit of complacency, of self-exaltation, and they made comparisons among themselves. If any one of them signally failed, others felt themselves superior. Jesus saw a spirit coming in that must be checked. He could read the hearts of men, and He saw their tendencies to selfishness in the question, “What shall we have?” He must correct this evil before it assumed gigantic proportions. CS 340.3

The disciples were in danger of losing sight of the true principles of the gospel. By the use of this parable [of the laborers who were called] He teaches them that the reward is not of works, lest any man should boast, but it is all of grace. The laborer called into the vineyard at the beginning of the day had his reward in the grace that was given him. But the one to whom the last call came, had the same grace as had the first. The work was all of grace, and no one was to glory over another. There was to be no grudging one against another. No one was privileged above another, nor could any one claim the reward as his right. Peter expressed the feelings of a hireling.—The Review and Herald, July 10, 1894. CS 341.1