Verse 1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.”
Although we can’t really imagine a world where you can be hired for just a day, this isn’t a practice that is totally out of the norm in other parts of the world. This is the kind of situation we encounter with our parable. Today we are going to look closer at the landowner in our story.
We find our landowner as he is out early, hunting for workers. He knew there was work that needed to be done in his vineyard and he, of course, knew the way to get it done was to hire some people to do it. Without temp agencies his option was to go out and look for workers. He also knew where to look for the needed hands.
It doesn’t take him long to find some help and he sends them back to his vineyard to start work. He has promised them a fair wage and that was good enough for them. They were willing workers. The fact that he didn’t take them to the vineyard may have meant he knew them and knew they would know what they are doing or he had workers that worked for him on a regular basis that could show them what to do. Let’s look at the second option as it seems the most logical.
It seems unlikely that a landowner would not have a set of regular workers that he has hired. So if you have a regular workforce why would one need more? Maybe it was an abundant harvest. If it was a big harvest, then more workers would keep his workers from getting overworked. It would also ensure him the fullest harvest. He didn’t just settle for the first batch of willing workers, he went out and looked at various times throughout the day for more willing workers. He knew that as long as there was daylight, there was time to have people harvesting.
So how is this part of the parable like the kingdom of God? Well, for one thing we know that the fields of humanity are ready with a great harvest. And the original workers couldn’t do it all on their own. God, as the vineyard owner, chooses workers at various times of life to work the harvest at that part of the earth’s timeline. Until Christ’s return, workers are needed to work the harvest.
Making It Personal
Are preachers the only workers for God? What do you think it means to work for God? If you are His, what work is He asking of you?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to work for someone? What kind of job do you think Jesus wants you to do today? Are ready to work for Jesus?
Father, the opportunities to work for You are endless. Help us to remember that to work for You means to bring You pleasure first and foremost in life. In Jesus’ name, amen.