The Workers In The Vineyard
22-23 AUGUST 2020 | Prayer & Praise Services
Rev Chia Chin Nam
Scripture Passage: MATTHEW 20:1-16 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Through this parable, Jesus wanted His disciples (and us) to know, in the Kingdom of God, people are not blessed based on good works or merits, but entirely on the grace of God. Therefore God’s blessings can never be earned and Jesus tells this parable to convey this truth.
All need grace Whether first or last, all the workers were the same in the landowner’s eyes, i.e. they all needed his grace. He could have cherry-picked who to work for him and driven a hard bargain in his favour, but he simply approached them to give them a job and promised a fair wage. He gave them not what they deserved but what they needed.
God’s grace God is the gracious and kind landowner in the parable. He showed us grace by sending Jesus to us. Some may have come to Jesus earlier than others, but that doesn’t make them more spiritual or better. For everybody has sinned and fallen short of God’s standards. God saved us by His grace, and we cannot take credit or boast about it. We all need God’s grace for our salvation, and it is available to all who call on Jesus. God’s grace continues to cover us every day after we are saved, and we are expected to be gracious to others too.
The early workers At the end of the day, all the workers were called to collect their wages, but something unexpected happened. The landowner made payment in reverse order, and gave those who came late a full day’s wage. That made those who started the work earlier feel unfairly treated. There are four possible reasons for this: 1) When they saw the last hires receive a full day’s wage, they started to expect more thinking they worked harder; 2) They became envious and greedy; 3) They were blind to the fact that the landowner kept his promise to them; 4) and that he had every right to be generous and gracious.
Conclusion If we are not mindful of the grace God avails to us every day, we may be prone to think and behave like these envious and grumpy men. We can guard against this by giving thanks to God for His grace every day, and in turn giving grace to others ourselves. When we are gracious to people, we would not feel envious or short-changed but rejoice with them when their needs are met by God.
(Sermon Notes by Desley Khew)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. Why did Jesus tell this parable?
2. What is the biblical understanding of grace according to the speaker? Share an incident whereby you received grace from God or others.
3. “In the Kingdom of God, people are not blessed based on their good works or merits, but entirely on the grace of God.” How does this principle affect/change your expectations of God’s blessings for (1) yourself, and (2) others?
4. What reasons did the speaker give for those who are unable to show grace to others? In what ways do you identify with them?
5. Consider practical ways you can show grace to others this week. Share with your group members.