Parable of the Laborers

Matthew 20:1–16 also Mark 10:31

Parable of the Laborers

1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’

“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”


Bible Knowledge Commentary – Matthew 20:1-16

Continuing this discussion, Jesus told a parable in which a landowner … went out early in the morning and hired men to work in his vineyard for the day, at an agreed price of one denarius, the normal daily pay for a laborer. Later, about the third hour (around 9 a.m.) the landowner encouraged others in the marketplace also to work in the vineyard, not for a stipulated wage but for whatever is right. The landowner employed more laborers about the sixth hour (about noon) and at the ninth hour (3 p.m.), and even some at the eleventh hour (5 p.m.) when only one hour was left for labor.

When it came time (evening, i.e., 6 p.m.) for the landowner to pay the workers, he began with those who had worked the shortest amount of time and paid each of them one denarius. When those who had worked the entire day came for their reckoning, they thought they would receive more than a denarius. They had labored all day and borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day. They had agreed, however, to work for a stipulated amount and that is what they received (v. 13). The landowner argued that he had the right to do what he chose with his money. He reminded them they should not be envious of his generosity toward those who had labored only briefly.

By this illustration, Jesus was teaching that the matter of rewards is under the sovereign control of God, the “Landowner” in the parable. God is the One before whom all accounts will be settled. Many who have prominent places will someday find themselves demoted. And many who often find themselves at the end of the line will find themselves promoted to the head of the line: The last will be first, and the first will be last. (This supports what Jesus had said in 19:28–30.) In the final accounting, the Lord’s analysis will carry the greatest and only important weight.


God is testing us every day and has given us the right to make our own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?

Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the joy of the promises of God’s blessings in His time. And always remember to ask the Father for His help and guidance in all things.


Prayer:   Father, blessed is your Holy name. We praise you for your Son and the Holy Spirit. Human words cannot describe how grateful we are for Your Son and our risen Christ. We praise You for the opportunity to be able to choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior and to be elect children of Yours. We praise you for the laws You have set down to teach us and keep our life in harmony, safe, how to treat others as well as how to live within you boundaries. Please bless those who have read this article for they too are seeking Your righteous truth, love, wisdom and understanding. I pray these brothers and sisters have or will come to realize that Your existence is a treasure of grace and love that You have for all Your elect children.

May God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights for eternity. Let it be Your will Lord not mine. Please come Lord Jesus.

I pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of The Holy Spirit,



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