Summary: God is the greatest to work for
Talk about the context of Matthew 19 and how Chapter 20 is parable to explain 19:30.
Peters attitude in asking the question in verse 27.
God is a Persistent Employer Verses 1-7
A. The Early Morning Workers. Verse 1-2
1) The Owner went out sometime after the night watch which would have been between 3-6 a.m.. It is probably around 5 a.m..
2) The landowner found some people to work for him. They were under a contract as to what they would earn.
3) Some commentators say that these people are the Jews, who had a covenant with God. Others say that they represent Jews who answered the invitation of Jesus early in His ministry.
4) These laborers knew from the start what they would receive for their days worth of work.
B. The 3rd, 6th, and 9th Hour Workers. Verses 3-5.
1) The Jews broke the daylight time into 12 equal hours starting at sunrise and ending at sunset.
a) The 1st hour was at about 6 a.m.
b) The 3rd hour at about 9 a.m.
c) The 6th hour at about noon time.
d) The 9th hour at 3 p.m.
e) The 11th hour at about one hour before sunset (5 p.m.)
f) The 12th hour was at sunset or about 6 p.m.
2) The landowner goes out again at the third hour, or at about 9 a.m.
3) The work needed to be done and more workers were needed to complete the task.
4) These workers were working on a promise, they had no promise of what they would get, but they still went into the vineyard. They were going to rely on the grace of the landowner. They probably thought that they would get 3/4ths of a days wage sine a ¼ of the day was already gone.
5) Those who were hired at noon should get ½ wage and those at the 9th hour should get ¼ wage.
6) Some would say that this group of workers would represent the Apostles who answered the call of Jesus.
C. The 11th hour workers. Verses 6-7
1) The landowner is in dire need of laborers so he goes out one hour before sunset and tries to find more workers.
2) He finds some and inquires as to why they were not working.
3) Some commentators will use these workers to justify the deathbed repentance. If deathbed repentance is valid, we cannot use this passage to justify it because these 11th hour workers are not pictured as rejecting offers to work until the last minute, but they said that no one had hired them yet. A deathbed conversion is someone who has reject the offer of Christ all of their life until the last minute.
4) These workers were also counting on the grace of the landowner.
D. The Landowner.
1) The landowner is persistent in his pursuit of workers. God wants us to reach as many people as we can. Notice the landowner did not tell the people that he hired to just loaf around, he told them to get into the vineyard and work!
2) In this parable the landowner is God.
God is a Generous Employer. Verses 8-10
A. These 11th hours workers were surprised to find that they were paid a whole days wage.
B. The laborers who were hired first expected more than they were promised because the 11th hour workers got the same pay that they were contracted for.
C. The Apostles probably were anxious to hear what the early workers would get, since they probably related to them.
D. It is easy to get down on the early workers for their attitude, but I would have thought the same thing if I were in their shoes. These people probably gave the landowner a hard days work, so the expectation was not that much out of line.
E. The 11th workers give us an example of God’s grace. These men could not have possibly earned a full days wage in one hour, but the landowner still paid them the wage.
F. The eternal life that we receive as a result of accepting Jesus is the same way. We cannot earn the salvation that we receive, it is given to Christians by grace.
God is a Just Employer. Verses 11-16
A. Presumptuous complaint. Verses 11-12
1) The first group was not happy with their pay.
2) They said that it was not fair that they got the same pay as the later workers because they worked longer in the sun.
3) These guys must have been professional athletes!
B. Promises Kept. Verses 13-14
1) The landowner said that he did what he agreed to do for these people. It was up to him as to what he paid these later workers.