Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "The Eccentric Employer"
The parable in Matthew 20:1-16 shows us that the economy of God’s Kingdom operates according to his grace, not our performance. Jesus gives a short vignette about a landowner, who hires workers to tend a vineyard throughout the day. They agree for their compensation to be a denarius. However, as the day progresses the landowner continues to hire workers, even to the last hour. As the day comes to an end, he distributes an equal amount of wages, one denarius each. This causes the original workers, who began at the start of the day, to confront the landowner for being “unfair.” They assumed that working more for the landowner meant that they deserved more.
In his sermon, Kevin DeYoung shows how this parable should challenge us to see our life from the perspective of God’s faithfulness and grace, rather than a perspective of self-entitlement, one-upmanship, and comparisons. Here we learn that the kingdom operates not according to our labors but according to God’s mercy, not according to our accomplishments but according to his generosity.
1. How did this message challenge you to look at God’s faithfulness and grace in your life? What are some areas of your life where you are blinded by the “fairness-goggles” and how does putting on the “glasses of grace” help you see God’s faithfulness?
2. Kevin also showed that this parable applies by describing how we are to welcome people. How does this challenge you to live more as the body of Christ?
3. This parable ends with the statement about the Kingdom of God: “the first will be last and the last will be first.” How can you apply this statement to your life? What would it look like to live last instead of trying to be first?