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The Parable about
Workers in the Vineyard

Matthew 20:1-16

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Service Notes
Sermon by Rev William Palmer

MATTHEW 20:1-16
     1.  The kingdom of heaven is the same-as a man with a large farm.  Early-in-the-morning he went and hired workers for his farm.
     2.  He agreed to pay the workers one DENARIUS each day.  And he sent the workers out to the field.
     3.  Then the farmer went about 9:00am and saw other men standing in the center of town not working.
     4.  And the farmer said to those men, "You go into my fields and I will pay you also."  And they went.
     5.  Again the farmer went about noon and 3:00pm and hired more men.
     6.  And about 5:00pm the farmer went and found other men in town not working.  The farmer asked, "Why do you stand here doing nothing all day?"
     7.  And they answered, "Because no one hired us."  The farmer said, "You go into my fields, also."
     8.  Evening came, and the farmer told the work boss, "Call the workers and pay them.  Begin paying the last workers, and then pay the first workers."
     9.  Those workers starting at 5:00pm received one DENARIUS.
    10.  The morning workers came and thought they would receive more money; but they also received one DENARIUS.
    11.  The workers accepted that, but they complained against the farmer.
    12.  They said, "These last workers only did one hour of work and you paid them the same-as us.  And we did the heavy work during the hottest time of the day."
    13.  The farmer answered, "Friend, I do nothing wrong.  You agreed to work for me for one DENARIUS, correct?
    14.  Take your money and leave.  I want to pay this last worker the same money I pay you.
    15.  I can spend my money my own way, correct?  Maybe your eye is jealous because I am good, correct?"
    16.  Now, the last will become first and the first will become last.

 

The Owner of the Vineyard =  

The Workers =  

The Vineyard Work =  

Application =  




Jesus said:
The kingdom of heaven is the same-as a man with a large farm. 
Early-in-the-morning he went and hired workers for his farm.


Owner of the Vineyard  = God
Workers  = God's people

Part of this story connects with another farm story that Jesus told about the harvester, in Matthew chapter 9:

Jesus said to His disciples,
 The field is big and the harvest is ready,
    but only a few workers go for harvesting them. 
Pray to the Lord, who owns the harvest,
    that He will send more workers into His harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38)

Vineyard Work = Our service for God


What does this story mean?

#1.
"Long time" Christians must not think they will get more honor from God than "last minute" Christians.   God's mercy is for all who will trust Him. 

Remember when Jesus suffered and died on the cross.
Two other men died with Him.
One man cursed Jesus.
And one man trusted Jesus.

"Lord, when you enter Your Kingdom,
    please remember me."


Jesus answered,
"Truly I tell you, today you will come with Me to Heaven."

How long was that man a believer?
    Only a few minutes.

How many did that man do in his service for God?
    Nothing.

Why did Jesus save him?

The same reason He saves you and me.
    His mercy.
    His love.
        Period.

His work is enough.
We can add nothing. 

That is the second lesson for this story.

#2.
His mercy saves us, not our work.

Jesus emphasizes that point in many of His stories --
    The sinner and the PHARISEE praying in the temple.
    The rebellious son who came back to his father.

Jesus said,
 Not everyone who says to me, "Lord!  Lord!'"
    will enter the kingdom of heaven...
On the last day many people will say to me,
    "Lord, Lord, we preached about You.
    We commanded evil spirits out of people using Your name.
    We did many miracles in Your name."
Then I will tell them clearly,
    "Go away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you."  (Matthew 7:21-23)

His Grace.
His Mercy.
His forgiving.
Those are His free gifts.  (see Ephesians 2:8-9)

Now, story today focuses on those people
    who think that the boss should give them more blessing
    because they worked harder and longer
    than the other workers.

Notice how they looked down on the other people
    who came to the vineyard near the end of the day.

Let us stand in their shoes for a minute.

If someone, all his life, thinks only about himself,
    he thinks only about his pleasure,
    he takes advantage of other people,
    he rejects God,
and also if that person becomes rich, popular, and powerful,
    do we feel jealousy?
    Do we feel resentment?

Do we see that person as God sees him?
    Do we see that he is lost?
    Do we see his need for Christ?

If people are rich or poor, that doesn't matter.
    They are the same.
    They both need Christ.

If people have high education or low education,
    that doesn't matter.
    They are the same.
    They both need Christ.

If people behave nice, or they are law-breakers that go to prison,
    that doesn't matter.
    They both are sinners.
    They both need forgiveness.

If people are very religious, or they never touched church,
    They are the same.
    They both need Christ, the same.
   
If a sinner, near the end his life, before his death,
    he turns and trusts Christ his Savior,
how does that make us feel?

Do we say, "That's not fair!"
Or do we rejoice, thank God, and welcome our new brother?
    ...as Jesus welcome him.

Prayer:
Thank you Jesus that you forgave all of our sins.
Your work, not ours... Your work gives us eternal life with You.
Thank you that welcome us into Your family.
Amen.


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