The Parables Of Jesus-Week 4-Laborers in the Vineyard

May 26, 2024 Preacher: Phil Courson Series: The Parables of Jesus

Topic: Laborers in the Vineyard Scripture: Matthew 19:27– 20:16


Unlocking the Mysteries of the Kingdom

 Matthew 19:27-20:1-16


 God’s Grace is His Unmerited, Undeserving Mercy for His people

and He will Reward Each One Justly

 Hired Laborers (v.1-7)

Early in the morning: This is literally “at dawn,” usually about 6:00am

These workers hired at the very beginning of the working day agreed to work for a denarius a day

 These workers were day laborers and were looking for work. A denarius would have been seen as very generous by the landowner!

 “And he went out about the third hour (9:00am) and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’

 He goes out again about the sixth hour (12noon) and the ninth hour (3:00pm), and eleventh hour (5:00pm) he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’”

 Paid Laborers (v.8-12)

v.8-10 – “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them received a denarius.”

 The order of payment was important. If the first workers had been paid first, they would not have had time to develop the expectation of more pay for themselves.

 v.11-12 – “And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘these last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”

 After being paid, the men hired first took up their complaint with the landowner. They were offended that the landowner gave the men who worked less equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.

 v.13-14a – “But he said to one of them, Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go.”

 v.14b-15 – “I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?

 “An evil eye was a phrase in use, among the ancient Jews, to denote an envious, covetous man.” Clarke

 v.16 – “So the last will be first, and the first last.”

 Last will be first, and the first last: This is the essence of God’s grace, when He rewards and blesses man according to His will and pleasure, not necessarily according to what men deserve.

 God’s grace always operates righteously.

 Application of this Parable

Jew & Gentile relationship – ‘you have made them equal to us…’

Recognize the kingdom of God is different from this earthly kingdom

God doesn’t owe us anything

Be prepared for surprises

Recognize it is all of grace and rejoice in that fact

God is generous!


Jesus is saying the same thing to us today! He is letting us know that He has a vineyard and He wants us to work the vineyard and whatever is right I will pay you.