THE PARABLE OF THE WORKERS IN THE VINEYARD
                                                           Matthew 20:1-16 (720)

          A.  Let’s consider an overview of this parable.
                1.  An owner of a vineyard hired workers.  Vv1-7
                2.  At the end of the day, the owner paid all of the workers the same.  Vv8-10
                3.  The workers who were hired first complained.  Vv11-12
                4.  The owner responded indicating his generosity and goodness with what was his.

          B.  Let’s look at this story with a view of God’s generosity.  The owner represents God
                 and  the workers represent us.

      I.  God’s generosity

          A.  These workers were known as day workers.

                1.  Their condition: Many of the slaves had it better.  They couldn’t afford a day off
                     because they had to provide for their families.
                2.  Since the owner understood this, he hired them.  Vv6-7.  We see his generosity.

          B.  God is generous to us.

                1.  It doesn’t matter if we have been a Christian a few days or many years, we share
                     the same salvation, the same promises, the Holy Spirit and the same spiritual
                     blessings.  Acts 2:36-41 (802); Ephesians 1:3 (863)

                2.  God’s generosity will result in all faithful Christians having eternal life.  1 Peter
                     1:3-5 (894)

          C.  The principle in Matthew 20:16: “Last will be first, and the first last.” 

                1.  The owner was generous to all the workers.

                2.  Jesus addressed his parable to the Pharisees who were opposed to the offering of
                     salvation to prostitutes, tax collectors and Gentiles.  Luke 7:36-50 (757)

           D. We tend to identify with the first workers based on what we have been taught by our
                economic system, but Jesus is teaching us about the generosity of God.

                1.  God treats us as equals.  Galatians 3:26-28 (861)

  Conclusion:  All people are saved the same way, all the saved are added to the same church,
                       and all the saved will be in eternity.  Acts 2:36-39,41,47 (802)