1. THE ALMIGHTY'S VINEYARD
At a time when the majority of nations have huge unemployment problems, at a time when almost every club, church group and community has many unemployed members, we present this parable on employment.
|Matthew 20:1-16||For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard ... (read the whole parable)|
2. THE ELEVENTH-HOUR WORKER
Consider for a moment this worker's mentality. Who knows, in real life you may be represented by him.
3. THE WAGES
|Matthew 20:8|| So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.|
9: And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10: But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
4. THE COMPLAINT
|Matthew 20:12||Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.|
5. WAS THE MASTER BEING UNFAIR?
|verse 11||The Master is called the 'goodman of the house.'
|v. 2||He made an agreement which he is keeping.
|v. 4||He also made subsequent agreements with later workers to give them 'whatsoever was right.' No doubt he is also keeping that agreement. He is paying out what is right.|
6. THE LAST DAY BELIEVER
You and I have been called into the vineyard in the closing hours of earth's history - at the eleventh hour. This is that hour and you could be that 'eleventh-hour worker.' Think about it! The day will soon be spent and Yahweh is still looking for workers in His vineyard. Are you available for work? And if so, what is your attitude towards Yahweh's work? The Saviour told another parable about work. Here it is:
|Matthew 21:28||But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
29: He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
30: And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
31: Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
32: For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
7. PERSONAL VINEYARDS / VINES
You and I are also likened to 'vines' in Yahweh's vineyard: 'sheep' in His flock: 'plants' in his garden. How are we making out? Are we producing good fruit? Or are we lining up to be cut down?
|Isaiah 5:1||Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
2: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein:
and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
|Proverbs 24:30|| I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;|
31: And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
|Matthew 7:19||Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.|
|Proverbs 31:15||She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.|
16: She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.17: She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms...
27: She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28: Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband (Messiah) also, and he praiseth her.
8. QUESTIONS WE MUST ALL ANSWER
|Mark 12:1||And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
2: And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.
3: And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
4: And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.
5: And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.
6: Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
7: But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
8: And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
9: What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
9. CHALLENGING QUESTIONS FOR BRAVE HEARTS