What Jesus Did! 'Kingdom Laborers' — Matthew 20:1-7

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"The kingdom of heaven is like a man that owned some land. The man grew grapes on his land. One morning, the man went out very early to hire some other people to work in his field. The man agreed to pay the workers one silver coin for working that day. Then the man sent the people into the field to work. At about nine o'clock the man went to the market place and saw some other people standing there. These people were doing nothing. So the man said to them, 'If you go and work in my field, I will pay you what your work is worth.' So the people went to work in the field. The man went out again about twelve o'clock and again at three o'clock. Both times the man hired some other people to work in his field. At about five o'clock the man went to the market place again. He saw some other people standing there. The man asked them, 'Why did you stand here all day doing nothing?' The people said, 'No person gave us a job.' The man said to them, 'Then you can go and work in my field.'"
— Matthew 20:1-7 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 20:1-7 NLT — "The kingdom of heaven is like a man that owned some land.

Key Thought

Once again, Jesus returns to the use of parables to drive home a key point. The disciples must realize two things. First, that while they have sacrificed a lot for the Kingdom, salvation is still God's sovereign gift. Second, those who the world think of being first will really be last when he evaluates things. God in his grace gives us something meaningful to do and then blesses us with more than we deserve for our involvement. We are those workers who were picked at the end of the day. To see ourselves otherwise is to put ourselves in the position of pettiness, jealousy and self-deception. We are the blessed ones: blessed to be chosen to work in the Master's harvest and doubly blessed to be paid for more than we earned.

Today's Prayer

Oh Father, you have so graciously shared with me your salvation, your Spirit, your promises, and your Future. There is nothing I have done, or will do, that will make me worthy of such grace. All I can do is thank you and praise you for your generosity. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matt. 13:10-18
  • Matt. 19:29-30
  • Rom. 6:21-23


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.