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Parable of the Vineyard

The Story - An Interwoven Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God's abundant grace should be received not expected

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What is our reward?

(Slide) When you think about rewards what do you think of?
(Slide) When you think about rewards from God what do you think of?
To help us get the right perspective of this parable we are going to look at today we need to back up, open your bibles to Mt19:27-30 first.
Matthew 19:27–28 NASB95
Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matthew 19:29–30 NASB95
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
I know we have briefly covered this from the Luke view, but now looking at it from Matthew’s vantage point, leading into our passage today you will see that it is a continuation.
(Slide) What is Peter’s question (v.27)?
(Slide) How does Jesus finish this off in (v.30)?
Remember the phrase there in (v.30) for you will see it again in our passage today.
Open Story book to pg 110 and let’s read the story then we will look at it in Mt20:1-16 broken down.
(Slide) What do you notice about the story overall? What sticks out?
In Israel if there was a threat of rain that may ruin a vineyard crop the Landowner would send his manager out to get day laborers and if more were needed would send him again, and again, and again, they needed whatever they needed to get the crop in before it is ruined by a storm. So this story, this parable was spoken in language they would understand.

Workers Needed

(Slide) How do we know that this a parable, from (20:1)? - the kingdom of heaven is like
(Slide) How do we know that this a parable, from (20:1)?
(Slide) What does the landowner do (v.2)? - he goes out to hire workers
(Slide) When did he do it (v.1)? - He did it early in the morning
The work day started early at 6am and went until 6PM so early really was early for most people, but there was a crop to care for and there were workers who needed work.
(Slide) In (v.3) he goes out again and hires more, in what hour? -3rd hour (or about 9am)
(Slide) What is different (v.2) and (v.4)? - in (v.2) there was a negotiated wage, a denarius, in (v.4) the landowner said would pay them what was fair, still they went out. They did not need an agreement, a contract, they needed work and they went!
In (v.5) and (v.6) we see the same thing, workers needing work and the landowner needing the workers and he hires them too, when? - 6th hour (12:00); 9th hour (3PM) and 11th hour (5PM) -
Many have taken this parable to mean the workers are Christians, ones who have been for life, almost life, half life, quarter life and new christian but that would not be consistent with what Jesus is teaching.
The main point of this story will be understood as we continue in a few minutes, it is about God’s compensation, God’s grace is not man’s merit, it is grace and His rewards are as He sees fit not by our actions, but by His. He does not compare us against each other, but to the stewardship entrusted to each of us.
1 Corinthians 3:3–5 NASB95
for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
Jesus is teaching in a parable, an illustration to speak to Peter and the others about the rewards now and in heaven and not to be prideful or boastful about what you think you have coming.
If a denarius was a day’s wages that is what the 6AM workers were getting, the others would have thought a lesser amount proportionate to what they worked that day. But God’s grace is not proportionate to the sums works, but is proportionate to His grace that He chooses to give to you.


(Slide) What were the instructions to the foreman (manager) in (v.8)?
(Slide) What were they paid (v.9)?
(Slide) What happens in (v.10)?
(Slide) What are the results in (v.11)?
Do we ever grumble when we see someone else get something we don’t think they deserve or when we don’t get a blessing that someone else got that we think we deserve?
Think back to the original question
Matthew 19:27 NASB95
Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”
Mt 29:27
Matthew 11:27 NASB95
All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
It was about the kingdom, what do we have coming to us in the kingdom since the rich young ruler had nothing coming, what do they who gave up everything have coming?
This is a warning against covetousness isn’t it? Pride, a sense of self-importance. Peter may have had the wrong motive, wrong heart for service, that is why he mentioned
Matthew 19:30 NASB95
But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
and then ended our story today
Matthew 20:16 NASB95
So the last shall be first, and the first last.”
Peter you will be surprised; i’m sure we are going to be surprised too.
I’m sure we can feel for the people hired at 6AM, they worked hard and if the landowner was going to be so gracious to those who worked an hour, then he would be just as gracious to them too. They had an expectation, they had a sense of entitlement when they compared themselves to others. Isn’t that the problem that the Pharisee’s had and the rich young ruler?
THis is one of those situations Jesus does not have to explain Himself. It is His choice, His criteria, the warning is don’t assume, and don’t expect, just believe
Matthew 19:29 NASB95
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.
You will get your reward, He has always taken care of His, but don’t get puffed up about it, get busy and be a working servant with a cheerful heart just to be a part of the kingdom.
It is possible to do the Father’s work but not have the right heart.
Ephesians 6:6 NASB95
not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
We need to have the right heart, the humble heart, the thankful heart, the trusting unwavering heart that HE will always give His best to you!
1 Corinthians 4:5 NASB95
Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
God knows and will judge by our heart, He knows our true motives. Now again read that verse slowly, who is praise for the right heart? - MAN IS! You will get what you have coming when you serve; when you give with a cheerful heart.
God is fair, God is just, God is the rewarder of those who love Him and have faith in him. We don’t need to negotiate with God, HE already gave us everything.
Matthew 6:22–23 NASB95
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
1 Samuel 18:9 NASB95
Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on.
Hebrews 11:6 NASB95
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
You you be paid
Matthew 16:27 NASB95
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
IF that is not enough how about
2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB95
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
or even
Colossians 3:24–25 NASB95
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
Don’t be envious, prideful, it will hinder your heart and your service to the Lord and for the Lord. God wants to lavish us in His blessings you can read about that in Eph1:3-13
That brings us to the end of this
Matthew 20:16 NASB95
So the last shall be first, and the first last.”
So, here is the reason for the parable, so we will understand the last shall be first and the first last. We need not be concerned about where we are, but that we are, are part of the kingdom and we serve the kingdom with a joyful heart.
Man says “Give me what I deserve” GOd says have the heart like the children (19:13-15). Man says I adhere to the Law; God says trust me for your provision not your own works (19:16-22) Man thinks having money equaled blessings but god says riches can keep you out of the kingdom of God (19:23-25) that the only way in is by the work of God (19:26) and that we need to trust Him, not compare ourselves to others and we will receive our reward (9:27-20:16)
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