Week 48|Matthew 20:1-19

As you start your study this week, think about your service to the Lord. He calls us to serve Him in the Body of Christ. The opportunities He gives us to serve are a gift of His grace. Spend some time thinking about the idea that serving the Lord is an opportunity of His gracious gifts. Ask the Lord to equip you to serve and to help you see serving as His gift.

Then read Matthew 20:1-19.

Comprehension (What does it say?)

1.What comparison is made in this parable to the Kingdom of Heaven?

2. What hours of the day were the laborers hired? For what pay did people agree to work? 3.What is the response of the laborers who had worked for the landowner all day? (v. 10-12)

4. How does the landowner respond to the laborers when they accuse him of being unfair? (13-15)

5. In verse 18, what does Jesus call Himself?

Interpretation (What does it mean?)

1. Read Matthew 19:16-30. What occasioned this parable? How does knowing the setting and what went on before help you to understand this parable (specifically Matt 19:27)?

2. Why did the landowner pay the laborers he hired at the 11th hour so generously (v. 15)? How does the payment of all the laborers reflect God’s grace?

3. What did the laborers who were hired at the first hour think they deserved? In God’s Kingdom, what do we deserve? Why is the landowner completely just in how he paid the laborers?

4. What does the landowner (Jesus) mean when He says, “the last will be first, and the first last?”

5. What is different about this third time Jesus predicts His death (see Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22)? What does He add to the description of what is going to happen to Him?

Application (How should it change me?)

1. What is our concept of human fairness based on? Read verses 3-7 again. We see the phrase, “whatever is right I will give you.” What is your expectation when you serve the Lord? Are you expecting something in return from Him? What should your expectation be when you serve? Do you struggle with idleness in your serving?

2. What does God say about grumbling? (John 6:41-43, 1 Cor. 10:8-11, Phil 2:14-15, 1 Thess 5:18, James 4:1-3, James 5:9). What precludes you to grumble? What matters of your heart do you need to surrender and submit to the Lord?

3. How does this parable relate to the Kingdom of God? How does this parable relate to the Gospel? What is our takeaway from this parable?

God does not reward as man expects. His system of grace can sometimes seem foreign to us. God rewards on His principle’s of grace and always operates out of His holiness and righteousness. All of our service belongs to Him and is due Him. The call to serve God is a gift of His grace. Finish this study by asking God to help you serve Him faithfully and without idleness. 

“My last word to God’s children is this: what does it matter, after all, whether we are first or whether we are last? Do not let us dwell too much upon it, for we all share the honor given to each. When we are converted, we become members of Christ’s living body; and as we grow in grace, and get the true spirit that permeates that body, we shall say, when any member of it is honored, ‘This is honor for us’ … If
any brother shall be greatly honored of God, I feel honored in his honor. If God shall bless your brother, and make him ten times more useful than you are, then you see that he is blessing you – not only blessing him, but you. If my hand has something in it, my foot does not say, ‘Oh, I have not got it!’ No, for if my hand has it, my foot has it; it belongs to the whole of my body.” (Spurgeon)

For Further Study

Matthew 13:44-46, Mark 4:26-32, Mark 10:32-34, Luke 18:31-33, Romans 11:6

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