Inauguration of Labor Day
During the Industrial Revolution in the 1800’s,
working conditions were harsh, exhausting, and
because of the low wages women and children
had to work to provide for the family.
Thousands went out on strike demanding better
pay and shorter working hours.
Labor Day was voted to be a National holiday in
1894 & has been celebrated annually since then.
God’s plan is for man to labor to provide for his
family, but more importantly He calls people to
work in His vineyard with the motivation of
heaven in the context of Matthew 20:1-16.
The Setting of Matthew 20:1-16
The rich young ruler walks away sorrowfully ...
Jesus says, “It is hard for a rich man to enter the
kingdom of heaven ... easier for a camel to go
through the eye of a needle.”
Disciples ask, “Who then can be saved?” & Jesus
responds, “With God, all things are possible.”
Peter asks, “We’ve left everything and followed
you, what then will there be for us?”
Jesus taught that they would receive much now
and later eternal life ... and added…“But many
who are first will be last; and the last, first.”
The Teaching of Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a
landowner who hires laborers in the vineyard.
He goes at sunrise and hires workers.
He goes back several times throughout the day
and hires more (3rd, 6th, 9th, & 11th hours)
This was common practice in the 1st century.
At the end of the day, the landowner calls his
foreman to pay the men.
The Teaching of Matthew 20:1-16
The landowner was trustworthy, honest, and
generous. He begins with the ones he hired last.
He pays them a denarius (a day’s wage) for
working (even though they only worked one hour).
He continues and pays each group the same.
When the ones who worked 12 hours came, they
grumbled because they expected more.
The landowner reminded them that they agreed to
work for a denarius and he had a lawful right to
pay them what he wanted since it was his money.
God will Reward those who are willing to
Sacrifice for the Kingdom of Heaven
Even though the rich young ruler had good
morals, he refused to sacrifice his possessions.
On the other hand, Peter and the apostles had
sacrificed their lives for the kingdom’s sake.
All who sacrifice for Jesus will be rewarded.
The landowner is God and He will keep His
promises and give the wages.
This reward is a gift from God for faithful service
(Heb. 6:10) not earned income (Luke 17:10).
All People Receive the Same Wages
No matter who comes to God (whether rich or
poor, male or female, slave or free).
No matter what time they come (young or old).
All receive the same reward! (Rom. 6:23)
Those who crucified the Lord but obeyed the
gospel (Acts 2:37-41) will have the same
reward as those in the hall of faith (Heb. 11).
The thief on the cross will have the same reward
as all the apostles.
All People Receive the Same Wages
Won’t this encourage death bed repentance?
No. The 11th hour laborers had not been hired
earlier, but when they were hired, they worked!
God’s grace is not a license to sin (Titus 2:11ff).
You will reap what you have sown (Gal. 6:7).
You can obey when you’re old, but why waitthere’s danger & death in delay (Jas. 4:13-17).
God desires that we remember Him in our youth.
(Eccl. 12:1)
God Will Do What’s Right, Don’t be Envious
Those who endured the heat all day complained
when they didn’t receive more than the others.
But they had no right to question God’s kindness
towards others who worked a shorter time.
Who are we to say to the Lord “we’ve had to
endure persecution all of our lives for the cause
of Christ” and then speak evil of His generosity
to save others realizing that we will face Him in
judgment? (2 Cor. 5:10)
We should be grateful that He is so merciful.
God Will Do What’s Right, Don’t be Envious
Instead of being envious of others and idle, we
need to be busy in the vineyard of the Lord.
Laziness, indifference, and apathy plagues many
Christians today.
Encourage each other towards love and good
deeds so that souls might be saved and saints
might be edified or restored.
(Heb. 10:23ff; Proverbs 11:30; James 5:19-20)
Let us be co laborers in the kingdom- the
Greatest Work on Earth!
Lessons We Must Learn
• God will Reward Those who are willing to
sacrifice for the kingdom of heaven
• All receive the same wages (spiritual
blessings of heaven)
• God will Do What is Just and Right.
Don’t be envious of others
What are you willing to sacrifice for?
Your money or your possessions like the rich
young ruler?
Or will you realize like the apostles, that no
sacrifice is too great to give up for heaven?
All laborers in God’s kingdom will receive a far
greater reward than they because we are
sinners and God is rich in mercy! (Eph. 2:1-7)
God is calling for workers to enter the kingdom
of the Lord without delay because if we are not
working for Him, we are working for the devil.