In Matthew 20 Jesus tells the parable of the workers in the vineyard who were all paid the same, though some worked much longer than others. He concludes with these questions “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” (v.15).

Perhaps similar questions today would be, if a mass murderer repented on his deathbed would you be upset if God forgave him? Would you be upset to learn that Hitler, Pol Potts, or Saddam Hassan repented?

There are those who feel called to minister to those awaiting execution for severe crimes in the hope of leading them to Christ before they die. Sometimes they are criticised by Christians who say they should spend their time with more ‘deserving’ people. But the fact is none of us are ‘deserving’ people and if God is so generous as to show mercy to us how can we complain when he shows mercy to others. When we mistakenly underestimate the seriousness of our sin we don’t realise the greatness of God’s forgiveness. But when we view sin the way God does, we are overwhelmed by the greatness of his mercy.