And this is a good question we’d do well to ask: “What is it that motivates you to do what you do?” Whether you’re employed full-time or serve as a volunteer, whether you work in the community or around the house, what motivates you to do what you do? I was a faithful member of my church for over forty-seven years. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats? Let’s face it, this is not one of Jesus’ more popular parables. It’s when gratitude gives way to the routine that we become disgruntled and begrudge those who seem to have it better. John is grateful to have the work, but feels empty knowing that Philip is just as needful as he. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Prodigal Son? Jesus told the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matt 20:1-16) precisely to teach us that it is never too late to turn to him. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) modern English translation of the Holy Bible. You get another point.”, The man’s face sank, and he said, “I can see now, I’ll never make it. All other nations were latecomers. And this is the complaint of those who worked all day: “You have made them equal to us.”. What is the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares? What then will there be for us?" And something else about gratitude: It keeps you humble when you stop to consider those less fortunate. The first problem was the fact that they were obviously working for the pay and not out of a sense of purpose or pleasure. Well, what happens to that sense of excitement as time goes by? When … Can you remember your first job, how thrilled you were to make a few bucks, to receive a paycheck, to have money of your own? Say Hello! It’s never too late to stop living an aimless life and live a life full of meaning. The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard 1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. In 1988-89, I served as superintendent of a rescue mission similar to Twin City Mission here in Bryan. I don’t know many who would disagree with that. In it, we meet a group of laborers whose master wasn’t very happy (in Matthew 20:13“friend” is used ironically) because they failed to identify the grace he expressed unto them. The parable answers the question that the leaders had just asked Jesus: “By what authority are you doing these things?” If God owns the vineyard and Jesus is the Son and rightful heir to it, then He is acting under God’s authority. Main Objective: This parable can be a tricky one to teach. This brings up an interesting aspect of the parable to consider, that, perhaps, those who were hired to work at five o’clock had been left standing idle all day, not because they didn’t want to work or didn’t try to get a job, but because they were the least fit to work. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13)? Listen to the parable once more: A landowner hired workers early in the morning and promised to pay them what amounted to minimum wage – one denarius. What is the meaning of the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price? Use the Parable of Vineyard Workers Crossword as a fun activity for your next children's sermon. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius[a]for the day and sent them into his vineyard. It was my money, and I was proud of it. I tell all my clergy friends about your site. Jesus tells the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) in response to Peter’s question in Matthew 19:27: "We have left everything to follow you! But it is a parable … In the parable, God’s justice is that everyone got to work, and everyone was given the essential earnings to feed his family. Finally, the problem with the workers who complained the loudest is that they failed to recognize their relationship to each other. There was a man who was a master of a household, (oikodespotes) who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country. Well, let’s see, I was a good husband and a good father. The story is told of Yogi Berra. Not My Favorite Parable A Sermon for Every Sunday, Pentecost 16A Matthew 20:1-16 The parables Jesus tells are often people’s most favorite parts of the New Testament, and I think that’s because so much of the time the parables give us characters and stories that we love. The landowner was not playing by their rules. In the scripture story that we read today, Jesus tells a parable (a story) where a number of people live and work in a vineyard that is not theirs Now, you might think they would be very thankful to live and work … Never mind that they got precisely what they were promised; the fact that the others got the same was a pill too big to swallow. The imagery used is similar to Isaiah’s parable of the vineyard (it would be prudent to study this also) found in Isaiah chapter 5. Tell me about your life, and I’ll add up your points.”, The man thought for a moment and said, “Well, let’s see. The only way I’d ever get into this place is by the grace of God.”, St. Peter smiled and said, “And that, my friend, is worth ninety-eight points. What was it about those workers who’d worked all day that made them so angry when the others got paid the same? There are those who are not able to do any of these things. They’d run up to the cars and pickups in the street before they came to a full stop. A second problem with the disgruntled workers in the parable is that they lacked a healthy sense of gratitude. The parable provokes one of the most primitive cries of childhood, when one sibling gets a better shake than another, the one who feels cheated screams: “But that’s not fair!” And so it goes: Some seem to get more than they deserve while others get less. Copyright 2004, Philip W. McLarty. Children’s Sermon Demonstration Teaching. I served as a deacon and an elder, and I taught Sunday School.”, St. Peter said, “Very good. The Jewish leaders have wrongfully usurped the authority of God, the rightful owner. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless Numbers 6:24-27 Email: Mail: Parable of the Vineyard P.O. I worked as a caddy at the local golf course. Introduction: 1. Likewise today there are Christians in the church who don’t walk in the grace of God. If what you’re doing isn’t self-satisfying and self-fulfilling, you’re likely to harbor resentment and anger about doing it, and when someone comes along doing the same job and gets paid more, you’re likely to feel as resentful as the workers in the parable. And for good reason! Matthew 20:1-16 The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (McLarty), All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan. This vineyard represents the special heritage that God gave to His people Israel. In our minds, we’ve already got it figured out – they’re going to get a pro rata share of one denarius. Have you ever applied for a job and gotten turned down? John is relieved to know that Philip will get to work at least one hour. Grace is the central theme of this parable. Maybe no other words attributed to Jesus cause as much offense to ethical calculations as his Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). In the scripture before today’s reading Jesus is talking to crowds of people. Option 2 This Graphic Set is created with a Sermon Title Only. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Fig Tree? Well, what happens to that feeling of gratitude once you’re on the job for a while and the new wears off? The parable itself displays a reversal of expectations — “the last will be first and the first will be last”; this is not only the summary of the parable (20:16), but a critical aspect of New Testament theology. He likens "the kingdom of heaven," or the way things are when God sets the standards, to a situation in which hardworking, reliable people get shafted. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Wedding Feast? What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed? Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. Very early they had entered the Lord's vineyard. The more you consider how blessed you are, the more you’re able to look upon those less fortunate with compassion instead of resentment. Other workers are brought to the field, but Philip is not among them. Were you thrilled when you heard that the workers who’d toiled and slaved all day long in the hot sun were going to get the same day’s wages as those who’d worked only one hour? Jesus told a parable (a special story) about a farmer who hired workers for his vineyard. Most jobs don’t pay enough to satisfy a healthy ego. But, as the drama unfolds, and those who came last get paid a full days’ wages, John rejoices, knowing that Philip – his brother – will have the money necessary to feed his family. When it comes his turn to stand before the landowner and receive his pay, instead of complaining as the others, John throws out his hand and says with tears in his eyes, “Thank you, my lord, for what you’ve done for us today!”, God’s justice arises out of a sense of community in which we see the “eleventh hour” workers as our brothers and sisters whose needs are every bit as important as our own. For the fig tree to be in a vineyard, it was planned and nurchured. Amen. When speaking of the nature of our heavenly reward, the parable of the vineyard workers is often cited to prove that each will receive a similar heavenly reward. Check out these helpful resources Biblical Commentary That’s a common question from people who want more what now? By mid-morning, all that was left milling around were the undesirables – those who were too old, too frail, too crippled or too mentally incompetent to hire out. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Ten Minas? What is the meaning of the Parable of the Ten Virgins? From the parable of the vineyard workers, understand the generosity of God’s grace and learn to extend grace and mercy to others. The New York Yankees were at their peak and were negotiating contracts for the next year. It is one of only three parables to be found in all three Synoptic Gospels, so we have to conclude that it is an important one. And this is God’s justice, not that we get what we deserve, but that we get what we need. You have a wonderfully fresh way of relating the text which I find always practical and insightful. I think not! It’s the parable most everyone loves to hate. TRY SERMONWRITER! The first child will seek for 1 child; then those 2 children will seek for another and then those 3 children will seek together for a 4th child. And as he looked for a harvest of righteousness & justice from them, so is He also looking for such a harvest from us. Those who are grateful to be employed have little to complain about. What is the meaning of the parables of fasting at the wedding feast, the old cloth, and the wineskins? It is never too late to receive his grace. GET YOUR FOUR FREE SAMPLES! I first began work in earnest when I was eleven years old. Lo and behold, he paid them a denarius, a full day’s wage. So far, so good. When you’re in the right vocation and you’ve got the right spirit, then the longer you work, the better. Hymn Lists. The story is told of a man who died and went to heaven. It’s never too late to be welcomed by the Lord. Use the Parable of Vineyard Workers Crossword as a fun activity for your next children's sermon. If the workers who’d worked all day had this attitude about their work, they wouldn’t have resented those who only got to work one hour. I use them every time I preach. I’ll never forget that first day, coming home on my Cushman Eagle motor scooter with $1.50 in my pocket. What about application? Have you ever been out of work? 34 When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit. The older men couldn’t compete. We require a hundred points to get in. The PDF download below includes full teaching plan and learning activities to share with your class. When you heard the reading of the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard just now, did your heart leap for joy? 33 “Hear another parable. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Vineyard? Let’s just say it’s because we’re human, not God. Isn’t that when we begin to complain and find fault? By Dr. Mickey Anders. At the end of the day the landowner had all the workers line up starting with those who came at five o’clock. The parable also may be taken as a warning to the Jews. Second, the parable of the laborers in the vineyard is about the first and the last. The watchtower and the wall mentioned in verse 33 are means of protecting the vineyard and the ripened grapes. I can tell you, it’s no fun. If it’s money or recognition or the praise of others, be careful! I could hardly wait to go back the next day. It’s just not right. What is the meaning of the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin? Would I feel the same if this were my brother or sister or father or mother?”. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Talents? What is the meaning of the Parable of the Dragnet? The inequity of their varying hours of work was offset by the inequity of their varying strengths and abilities. He warned his disciples about the Pharisees, but they are not the real problem. Still, no problem. A little while later, he found another person who wanted a job, and hired him on for the same amount of money. If he paid one denarius for one hour’s work, then he must be going to pay one denarius per hour. They were bound to God by a special covenant, and they were the exclusive recipients of his special promises. God’s justice arises out of a gracious invitation to use your innate gifts and abilities to the glory of God and to the benefit of others. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Sower? Only as you truly enjoy what you’re doing will you be able not to look over your shoulder and compare your situation with others. That’s the spirit of gainful employment, doing what you love to do and do well and getting paid for it besides. OBJECTIVE: To understand what the expression, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first” means. He told them simply that he’d pay them what was right. Children’s Sermon on the Parable of the Tenants. “We have a point system,” St. Peter said, “and only those with enough points are allowed to enter.”, “Points?” the man asked, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”, St. Peter explained, “It’s simple. Peninsula Bible Church Cupertino. I helped with various civic projects, and I served on several committees. The landowner replied, “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? At the end of the day, he paid each worker the exact same wage, to which the ones who had worked the longest complained. I gave a tithe to the church, and I contributed to all sorts of charities. 65714 When the landowner comes, John is taken in the first wave of workers, and as he labors in the field he looks up the lane for some sign of Philip. Date written: October 6th, 2007 Scripture ref: Matthew 20:1-16. St. Peter met him at the pearly gates and asked to examine his qualifications. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Are you envious because I am generous? In the long run, money or recognition or praise has little to do with it. The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard 20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like(A)a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. The more we’re grateful for the opportunity to serve and contribute and work, the less concerned we’re likely to be over working conditions or fringe benefits. About Us; Location; What to Expect; What We Believe; Meet Our Team Children’s Sermons Used by permission. Today’s Scripture passage offers a parable of Jesus as reported by Matthew. The parable runs against the grain of one of our most deeply cherished values, the value of hard work and just reward: The more you work and the more productive you are, the more you ought to get paid. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Leaven. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Unforgiving / Unmerciful Servant? The landowner then went back at nine o’clock, at noon, at three o’clock and at five o’clock and hired more workers.