Labourers in The Vineyard
A Sermon on the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
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 …
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 …
If Christians tend to grumble, commiserate, and feel sorry for themselves, is it because they’ve forgotten grace? Murmuring stems from a belief that one deserves something more. As a result, they’re never happy and become a complaining people. In this sermon on the parable of the workers in the vineyard from Matthew 20:1–16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that 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 have been in the faith for a long time. 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 the human condition today. Christians have the gospel of Jesus Christ, but if they do not continue in it, they get into the same trouble. They become entitled and believe they deserve more. What they 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 them keeps them. Listen and rejoice––it is all of grace.
- The parable of the laborers in the vineyard illustrates the principle that everything in the Christian life is by grace from beginning to end.
- The parable addresses those who start well in the Christian life but get into trouble later on. Continuation in the faith is vital.
- The causes of the trouble for the first laborers:
- Their attitude was wrong. They were conscious of themselves and their work. They were counting and assessing what they did.
- This attitude inevitably leads to trouble. They expected and felt they deserved more, leading to murmuring and unhappiness.
- They felt contempt for others and were jealous of the latecomers.
- Most seriously, they felt the householder was unjust.
- The cure:
- Recognize the kingdom of God is different. Everything is new. We must not bring old mindsets.
- Do not think in terms of bargains, rights or rewards. Even rewards are by grace. God does not owe us anything.
- Do not keep records or accounts of your work. Keep your eye on God and his glory. Let God keep the accounts.
- Be prepared for surprises. God's accounting methods are not like ours.
- Recognize it is all of grace and rejoice in that fact. Looking to grace is the secret of a happy Christian life.
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.