[The Vineyard Workers: Matthew 20:1-16]
Isaiah 1:19 – “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land.” [HCSB]
God uses EVERYONE obedient to Him – Peter asks “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME”?
“Then Peter chimed in, ‘We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?’ Jesus replied, ‘Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.’” – Matthew 19:27-30 [MSG]
“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”- Matthew 20:15-16 [NIV]
1) This parable is not about salvation or eternal life
Salvation is not earned by works
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” [NASB]
Titus 3:5-6 – “He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” [NLT]
2) This parable is not about rewards for service
God rewards differently
1 Corinthians 3:8 – “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.” [ESV]
LABORERS WHO BEGAN AT 6AM FAILED TO BE THANKFUL – SELF-SERVING ATTITUDE
We all will receive great rewards for following Jesus (see Revelation 22:12)
OBEDIENCE – act of obeying, words or actions denoting submission to authority, dutifulness
- Obedience expresses faith in His wisdom and love. (Hebrew 11:6)
- Obedience expresses hope in a future blessing. (Mark 10:29-30)
- Obedience expresses love (John 14:15, 2 John 1:6)
- Obedience glorifies God (Matthew 5:16)
Bible Study Questions:
1) In this parable, we read about a Landowner, Laborers, a work day, a Vineyard, and the end of the work day. What do you think these people/things represent?
Day of work –
End of the work day –
2) Those who were hired last were unworthy of what they received. They were receiving a day’s wage despite working less than a day’s work. They were paid first. They were treated equally.
How does this resemble God’s grace?
What reminds us of our unworthiness?
3) Those who were hired first were paid last. It was their opinion that they were treated unfairly though they were paid an equal amount and given exactly what was agreed upon.
Why was it difficult for these workers to accept God’s grace towards others?
What made this an unfair transaction (from their vantage point)?
4) Before this parable, Peter asks what the disciples will gain for leaving everything behind. Jesus twice speaks of the Great Reversal. Those who are first will be last; those who are last will be first. It wasn’t about the difference of the reward. We should all be thankful.
How can we obey with an attitude of gratitude? What does this look like?
What should be our motivation of service?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.
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