Matthew 20:1-16

Talks for Growing Christians

The Parable of the Landowner and the Laborers

Matthew 20:1-16

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Lesson Number 52

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Reward in the kingdom is not based on time of service.
  2. Reward in the kingdom is based on willingness to serve.

Practical Application

  1. Are you envious because of the Lord’s generosity?


  1. What is the topic of this section of Matthew 20?
  2. When will faithful believers receive their rewards?
  3. What is the “kingdom of heaven” referred to in Matthew 20:1?
  4. Were any of the laborers paid less than was fair?
  5. Were the laborers who were hired later in the day lazy?


  1. Rewards
  2. In heaven and in the earthly millennial kingdom
  3. It is the current form of the kingdom, the mystery form between the two advents of Christ.
  4. No, but out of his generosity the owner paid some of the laborers more than they deserved.
  5. No, they were willing to work as soon as they were given opportunity.


  1. This parable teaches the basis now for reward in the future. Discuss this idea of eternal rewards. Distinguish between rewards which can be earned, and your salvation, which is a free gift. Are you living today in light of these future rewards? Are you willing to labor for the Lord? Remember that faithful service can take many forms. Refer to I Corinthians 15:58.
  2. Are you envious of other believers because of the Lord’s generosity? It is easy to become jealous of others’ blessings when we begin comparing ourselves. Discuss ways to safeguard against this envious attitude. What attitude should you have toward fellow believers whom the Lord has blessed?


  1. Be willing to work when the opportunity arises. Look for ministry opportunities and take advantage of them!

Key Verses

  • “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?” Matthew 20:15
  • “So the last will be first, and the first last.” Matthew 20:16

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