Matthew 20:1-16

The Parable of the Worker in the Vineyard
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 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?’ 7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “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.’ 9 “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.”

What is God’s Promise?

God’s promise was to send the Messiah–the greatest promise to mankind. There is a time for promises to be fulfilled and a time to receive them. Though God had promised to send the Messiah, when Jesus came to the Earth, many people couldn’t believe in him, since the Jewish people thought that God, Himself, would come. Therefore, the people failed to receive God’s promise because they did things according to their own thoughts. 

We need to pray and study about how God’s promises are fulfilled. Depending on what people do, God gives more, and people can receive more. But in order to receive what God has promised, you still have to go through difficulties and hardships, as there is always a price to pay. So, always pray to God about the promises He has made to you. 

People fail to receive God’s promises when they fail to do what they should have done. 

God fulfills His purpose and makes history on earth only according to His absolute Truth. You won’t receive things unless you take action on God’s purpose. We must not forget the promises God has made to us.  

What does the Scripture mean?

From the Scripture above, the workers who came later and worked only a little were given the same amount as those who had come first. People still came to work, even though they were late. And everybody still worked hard, no matter what time they got there. The owner gave those who came late the same amount as those who had come first because the workers’ hearts matched that of the owner, and they joined in on the work ardently. They didn’t grumble but were thankful for the work. 

The wages were not calculated based on how much work was done but on whether the master was happy and joyful. God gives according to what you do, and He always gives according to His promises. Since God always spoke in parables through Jesus’ lips, this Scripture relates to matters of faith.

The “workers” are not actual “laborers” but people who come to the kingdom of God. Right now, people are being called into God’s history and kingdom. God’s time of salvation is different than what we expect. Some people believe the Scripture is saying that those who came first and started working earlier should be paid more. And they assert how it isn’t fair for those who come later to be treated the same, even though they do less work. However, those who come later are able to please the master and thus receive according to what they do. This Scripture is a parable for the kingdom of Heaven.

God brings each person to hear the Word, even if they come later than somebody else. The earlier party already enjoyed and acquired what they deserve. However, the people who come later are treated in the same way if they are glad and thankful when joining in on the owner’s work. 

Being thankful and joyful while doing what the owner wants is a great condition of faith. Know that even if you come late to the history of God, the Owner will still love you.