Parable of the Landowner
The Grace of God
Grace and mercy to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
It is written, “But Jesus answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
Thus far the text.
Let us pray: O LORD, we ask You to hear the prayers of Your people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness; in the name of Jesus. Amen.
This morning, you get to look into heaven. Let us listen to Jesus who is God. God will describe heaven to you. And in the parable, shows you His grace. Jesus says:
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
This morning, you get to look into heaven. We are drawn to near death experiences when people arise to speak about their vision of heaven.
Jesus knows we are afraid of the unknown. So, He shows you heaven.
2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
Jesus comes to you and invites you into His Father’s vineyard. No one gets into the vineyard unless invited. So, Jesus goes to the unemployed who have no job. Jesus goes to the idle who have nothing to do. Jesus goes to you and hires you to do good works in His Father’s vineyard.
The focus is not on you but on what Jesus does for you. Jesus goes to you and hires you by speaking a word of invitation.
3 And Jesus went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’
Jesus comes to you to hire you into our Father’s vineyard. In the vineyard, all your needs are cared for. As Isaiah says,
“Behold! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
The Father wants to take care of all your needs. So he hires you through Jesus. Have no money, come and eat. Have no wine or milk, come and drink.
The cost is not yours to pay. It is a cost Jesus pays, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and His innocent suffering and death (Small Catechism).
You entrance into the vineyard is paid for.
Your needs in the vineyard is paid for.
The high cost to hire you is paid for by Christ’s blood and body. Come.
8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.
What is your labor in the vineyard?
Teach the faith in your household. It is a little work for you (which is of the Law) but it is grace to all who receive the gifts of God (even you in the midst of your labor).
This is what it might look like
Twice a day, gather your family to hear from God’s Word.
The whole thing takes about 10 minutes.
It is a little bit of labor for me. Gathering everyone together.
It is a little bit of labor for my family. They stop whatever they are doing.
But it is good to gather before the Lord together. Be reconciled before God and each other. Receive a little pruning and watering from God. Go to bed in peace.
This is the grace of God in action. We all receive from God.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’
Prayer is not hard, but it is work nonetheless. There is always some reason to not gather. Parents are tired from work and children are tired from school. But the labor is grace given to all. It’s even grace to
13 But Jesus answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’
Martin Luther, the 16th century reformer of the church, says something that is worth quoting. Luther writes,
“Hence the substance of this Gospel is that no mortal is so high, nor will ever ascend so high, who will not have occasion to fear that be may become the very lowest.
So when parents and pastors hear the word daily and pray daily, they are no better before God than the littlest believing and baptized baby. We are equals before God in Jesus. Luther continues saying:
On the other hand, no mortal lies so low or can fall so low, to whom the hope is not extended that he may become the highest;
So when parents and pastors neglect to hear the word daily and/or pray daily, you are no worse than the greatest sinners who still have hope from the Landowner who is gracious to you. It is this Landowner who invites you again into the Vineyard He has planted in your home. He renews you, even today, to labor with God’s Word daily.
16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
Luther continues a little more:
because here all human merit is abolished and God's goodness alone is praised, and it is decreed as on a festive occasion that the first shall be last and the last first. In that he says, "the first shall be last" he strips thee of all thy presumption and forbids thee to exalt thyself above the lowest outcast, even if thou wert like Abraham, David, Peter or Paul. However, in that he also says, "the last shall be first," he checks thee against all doubting, and forbids thee to humble thyself below any saint, even if thou wert Pilate, Herod, Sodom and Gomorrah.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, is keeping and guarding you in Jesus Christ, Our Savior. Amen.