A Matter of Life and Death Part 2 “The Generous Landowner”

The Generous Landowner

By Pastor Eric Kauffman

Matthew 20:1-16

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


Our culture is consumed with: Where do I fit in the __________.

Most common question asked when we meet someone:


The Parable (Equal Pay for Unequal work)

(1-2) For is like the kingdom of the heavens to a man, a householder, who went out in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And agreeing with the workers for the denarius of the day, he sent them into his vineyard.


Denarius: A day’s _______


(3-7) And going out around the third hour (9am), he saw others standing in the marketplace, without work. And to those he said, “You go, even you, into the vineyard, and whatever is just, I will give you.” And they went.

And again, going out around the sixth (12pm) and also the ninth hour(3pm) he did likewise.

And around the eleventh hour (5pm), going out, he found others standing, and he says to them, “Why here are you standing all the day without work?” They say to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He says to them, “You go, even you, into the vineyard.”


Did this ______________ know what he needed?

_______ weren’t these people working earlier?


(8-12) When evening came, says the (lord of the vineyard) to his steward, “Call the workers and give them their wage/reward, beginning with the last ones to the first ones.” And coming, those around the eleventh hour, they received each a denarius. And coming, the first, they thought that more they would receive. And they received each a denarius, even they. And receiving, they were grumbling against the householder. They were saying, “These last ones one hour did, and equal to us them you have made, to the ones having borne the burden of the day and the burning heat.”

Why is he now called _______?

_______ did the lord pay this way?

Was the lord _________?

What was their ____________?

(13-16) And answering one of them he said, “Friend, not do I harm you. Did not for a denarius you agree with me? Take what is yours and go. And I wish to this one, to this last one, to give as even to you. [Or] is it not permitted to me what I wish to do with what is mine? Or is your eye evil because I am good?” Thus will be the last first and the first last.


Was the lord ______?

Are _____ and ______ the same thing?

Would you work for this lord?


The Characters:

The Early Workers:

Can you identify with them?

–        Look at all ______ done.

–        I _________ better.

–        Why did You bless _______, God?


–        Our worth doesn’t come from ____________ but ______________

–        ________ work?


The Later Workers

Can you identify with them?

What gifts have you received?


What is the value of coming to the point of __________?

Have you come to this point?


The Landlord

We should try to be _________________

Don’t wait for needs to come to you; _______________

Be generous ______________

Pay a __________ wage


“Become Weaker” (Jean Vanier)