Working in the Lordís Vineyard

Matthew 20:1-16



This parable teaches some important lessons about Christian service. Here the householder (or land owner) is Jesus Himself, and the vineyard represent all areas of Christian service.


1.First, we want to see what this parable is not teaching:


1.It is not teaching works for salvation. Salvation is not the payment for serving the Lord. Serving the Lord is the consequence of being saved (Ephesians 2:8-10 READ).


2.This parable is not teaching that people should put off being saved until the eleventh hour of life. The Lord is not encouraging sinners to delay their coming to Him by faith in the gospel, but is simply showing that His grace is extended to people at different ages.


3. This parable is not teaching that saved people should put off serving and obeying the Lord. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is Lord and that all His redeemed ones are to serve Him according to His Word after they receive Him as Lord and Savior.


4.This parable is not teaching equal rewards for all the saved. Other Scriptures clearly teach that rewards will be based on faithful service. Some will receive great rewards, and some will receive little or even no rewards.


-There are some common benefits to all the saved.


-Special rewards for faithful service are dealt with elsewhere.


-This parable is dealing with the attitude of the heart toward serving the Lord. We shouldnít be concerned with being first or getting more than someone else.


2.Secondly, we want to see what this parable does teach:


1.This parable teaches that it is the Lord who calls people into His service (vs. 1-2)


-He calls through the preaching of the Gospel (have you been called?)


-He calls us out of the market place of sin.


-It is Jesus who seeks and saves the lost.


2.The Lord calls people at different times of the day.


-a day represents a personís life time (vs. 3-7).

††††††††† -some are saved at an early age, while some later in life.

††††††††† -if you are not saved, it is not too late for you. You are not too old, and

you are not too sinful.


3.The Christian life is a life of service.


-Working in the vineyard involves work!

-It involves sowing seed, and watering and cultivating, and maintaining and protecting the vineyard, and reaping the harvest.


††††††††† -Serving the Lord is a difficult work.

††††††††††††††††††† -It takes hard labor to work the ground and plant the seedÖ

††††††††††††††††††† -It takes endurance to overcome the elements (the heat of the day)

††††††††††††††††††† -There are tribulations and trials, and yes, persecutions.


4.The Lord will reward His people (vs. 8) See chapter 19:27-29; 1 Corinthians 15:58


-We can be sure that the Lord will reward our faithful service.


-Whatever a man sows, the same shall he also reap.


-He that sows bountifully in the Lordís vineyard, shall also reap bountifully!


-Our labor is not in vain in the Lord!


5.The last shall be first, and the first will be last (chapter 19:30, 20:8, 16).


-The purpose of this teaching:

1)We should rejoice when God blesses others


2)We should not be concerned with being first (worldly attitude).


3)We should be thankful because we are called and chosen, no matter how long we served. We should count it a joy and an honor and privilege to have been permitted to serve a longer term here on earth, and to have been preserved from a longer life of living in sin and disgrace. Those who are saved at a younger age, just think of how much sin you were preserved from!


6.No one has the right to complain (vs. 9-14).


-The Lord is more than fair with everyone.

††††††††† -None deserve the least of His blessings.

††††††††† -We all get far more than we deserve.


7.The Lord can do whatever He pleases with His own.


-He is Lord and He is God!


-As such, He is sovereign over all His creation; even puny man!


-He always does right. His judgments are perfect, and righteous altogether!

††††††††† -The judge of all the earth shall do right.

††††††††† -It is not manís place to judge his Creator and his Judge.





Have you been called into the Lordís service? (Present the gospel.)


Have you put your light on the candlestick of the local New Testament Church?


Are you serving in the Lordís vineyard?

-Are you a Christian worker?

-Are you doing your part?