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  • East Martin CRC

Agreements and Accounts

Matthew 20:1-16

Verse 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’”

Now that we have looked at each group of people it is time to zoom out to look at the entire picture again. If we are to take this parable to heart and learn what Jesus wanted His disciples and us to know, we need to see the big picture.

There are two aspects of this parable that make up the big picture – the agreements and the accounts. One doesn’t matter without the other. Jesus needed His disciples, ancient and modern, to have a true and connected understanding of these two principles.

The first one we need to look at is the agreement. The landowner made agreements with each and every one of the hires at the time of hiring. He told the first group that he would give them the going rate for a day’s work. They agreed to the sum as it seemed fair – a day’s work for a day’s pay. The other groups were promised a wage that was fair. Each group agreed to work for whatever the landowner considered fair. There was nothing wrong with any of these agreements and all made their agreement with trust that the other side would uphold their end of the deal.

Next we have the matter of accounts. Without each side keeping their end of the agreements the accounts wouldn’t matter. But everyone kept their part of the agreement. So what was the issue? The issue was that they didn’t agree with the landowner’s agreement with other workers. It wasn’t their agreement that they were concerned with. They compared accounts with others and that is where the trouble came.

That is where the troubles still come for us and the Church. We start looking at God’s treatment of others and feel that it is unfair because we don’t think we are getting the same level of blessings as someone else is. We start focusing on other’s accounts with the Father instead of our agreement with Him.

Making It Personal

Which do you find it hardest to focus on? Did He set the account level of your agreement with Him or did you try to? What would you say your agreement with God was? Are you holding up your end of the agreement?

Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean to make an agreement with someone? What kind of agreement does God make with us? Do you agree to obey Him?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for making an agreement with us about our living for You. Thank You for not giving us what we deserve, death. Thank You for paying our account with Jesus’ blood. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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