Day 9

The Vineyard Workers

from the reading plan

Matthew 19:23-30, Matthew 20:1-16

In this study of the Parables of Jesus, we are reading many of the stories Jesus used to teach hearers about how to live as His followers. Each day we’ll read parables in their immediate context, focusing on a different category of parables each week. Then we will work through a series of questions to understand the meaning of the text and take to heart the “secrets of the kingdom.”


Week 2: Parables about Repentance and Grace

Stories about other people often reveal things to us about ourselves. This week’s selection of parables all deal with themes of repentance and grace, and in them we see that Jesus meant for His parables to stir the hearts of His hearers. As you read, let these parables serve as a kind of mirror, and ask what Jesus is showing you that you might not have otherwise seen. Use the questions below to help.



1. This parable raises a question about the fairness of grace. Do you struggle when things seem unfair? Why? What does fairness look like to you?

2. What is the problem this particular parable is responding to, and what is the outcome of the story?

3. What is the central point of this parable?

4. What is your response to this parable?

Post Comments (6)

6 thoughts on "The Vineyard Workers"

  1. Brandon says:

    This world tells us to go get all we can. Gods plan is different. The vineyard workers are a great example of Gods grace and mercy. We all get hung up on equity because this world teaches that. God teaches mercy and grace. How great is our God!

  2. Fergus Llewellyn says:

    I guess if we’re honest, we all have a grace and truth mentality. Grace for me; truth for you. How often when we stuff up, do we give excuses and seek grace and understanding from others; yet when others aggravate us, we don’t afford them the same patience or grace, and instead judge them.

    This parable of course puts that tendency in an eternal context. I wonder how the first disciples felt about the criminal on the cross, obtaining paradise in the last minutes of his life? Are we prone to judge others, forgetting in our hearts and minds just how unbelievably generous God has been to us, lavishing undeserved grace and forgiveness to take the cost of our sin away?

    Father, can I ever thank you enough for the cross? Help me not just to rejoice in that amazing show of grace and love for myself, but to celebrate also that you have done that for my neighbour and enemy alike.

  3. Ryan Schulze says:

    1. This parable raises a question about the fairness of grace. Do you struggle when things seem unfair? Why? What does fairness look like to you?
    Absolutely. This parable has always bugged me. I totally understand the point, but for someone like me, who would be one of the faithful, all-day work, it’s hard to swallow. I mean strongly toward being the older brother in the prodigal son, believing that grace is unfair and wondering why I followed so diligently in the first place when I could have been out galavanting and come back and been forgiven. But that thought exposes my heart so quickly. It shows that I wasn’t staying close to God for the sake of being close to God. For that is the reward of following: intimacy, nearness, presence. Not wealth, health, happiness, peace, etc. I have to constantly fight to remember that.

  4. Roy Rodas says:

    1. I think this parable shows that grace is unfiar but I think it’s unfair because it’s undeserved, if grace were fair, then we wouldn’t get it. God, in his grace, has given us a gift. And if He so chooses to reward others the same as us, even though we feel we may deserve more, we can become entitled to what is not ours. It makes me think of people who may, at the end of their life, accept Jesus into their hearts genuinely and after having lived their life as they wanted, go on to receive the gift of salvation the same as someone who was a believer at a young age and had struggled and battled their entire life to be obedient and love God. It may not sound fair, and it isn’t, because grace isn’t fair.
    2. I think it’s addressing the problems in people’s hearts, mainly long time believers, that tell that they will receive a great reward than be believers at the time of salvation because they have been believers longer. Yet God will only give them what he promised them. Still, somehow it is still grace, we don’t deserve it but we still receive it, no matter how long we have “worked” to earn it.
    3. I think the Central point is that God will give us what we deserve and we shouldn’t complain because at the end of the day it’s grace.
    4. I would say: God forgive me for my arrogance in thinking that I should deserve more than any other believer because my my life long faith, and ask that he helps me to overcome that mentality.

  5. Kevin says:

    Day 9: 1. I have tried in the last couple years to rid myself of the selfishness and desire for things to be fair. Especially when it comes to God, my work should be to grow his kingdom and build the party up as much as I can. It’s hard, but Gods plan is way better.

    2. Giving the same wages to the people who worked way less. I think we see people on their death bed face a real fear and have a real change of heart. The excuse that one could just repent later and be fine get sunder my skin because I don’t see a real change of heart. But God sees the heart and determines where they’re at. Not me.

    3. Be generous and show Gods love to everyone. Don’t knock someone for having a change of heart, but encourage and build them into a man or woman of God.

    4. God judges, I shouldn’t. I need to get off the high horse sometimes and sit back. I should be the biggest encourager and supporter of those chasing the lord and hopefully bringing others along with me.

  6. Tim Bowditch says:

    What a powerful reminder that God’s Grace is more life-changing than anything law than provides fairness. It overrides our sin and jealousy. It changes our hearts to be able to recognize its beautiful work in us today as it did 2,000 years ago. That is amazing!

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