Labourers in The Vineyard
A Sermon on Matthew 20:1-16Read more
Why do we grumble? Why do we commiserate and feel sorry for ourselves? Is it because we’ve forgotten grace? Murmuring stems from a belief that one deserves something more. As a result, we’re never happy and become a complaining people. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains it this way from Matthew 20:1-16: the murmuring person has forgotten that everything is grace. To illustrate this point, Jesus gives us the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. This sermon highlights the grumbling of those who came in early. They are complainers; they feel they deserve more than the others. They started out well, but got into trouble later on. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones applies this parable to our own condition today. We have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, be if we do not continue, we get into the same trouble. We become entitled and believe we deserve more. What we forget is this: it’s all grace. It’s always been grace. In the Christian life, all is grace, from the beginning to the end. Christians are called to do all things without murmuring. What a tragedy when Christian people become miserable! What a tragedy when they murmur! The same grace that saved us keeps us. Listen and rejoice––it is all of grace.
Additional Scripture Translations
Matthew 20:1-16, New American Standard Bible
Laborers in the Vineyard
1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and to those he said, ‘You go into the vineyard also, and whatever is right, I will give you.’ And so they went. 5Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he *said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ 7They *said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He *said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’
8“Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard *said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group to the first.’ 9When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10And so when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12saying, ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day’s work and the scorching heat.’ 13But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what is yours and go; but I want to give to this last person the same as to you. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I want with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last shall be first, and the first, last.”
Matthew 20:1-16, King James Version
1For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.