There are 6 key takeaways. I will go into detail with some more than others, so feel free to expand on them as you want to in the group and try and identify where you see them worked out in the story.
- God doesn’t owe us anything – it is by His Grace that we are saved, and by His Grace that we can participate in the Kingdom of God. We are not in a position to make demands.
- We are blessed because of his goodness not our labour.
- We should never look down at the 5pm workers – there may come a time when that is you.
- When we start to envy other people for their blessings, it’s a slippery slope to resenting God for what he has (or has not) given us
- Look at what you can give, not what you can get – The landowner doesn’t really benefit from the 5pm workers, but it is the nature of God to give us the blessing anyway
- Be thankful that we have the opportunity to participate in the Kingdom
Introduction and review
- How important is it to you that things are fair? Have you experienced unfairness (as siblings/in school/with friends?)
- What stood out to you from tonight?
- 20:13-15? There is a challenge here from God to the listeners (to those at the time, and to us now) about our motivation for fairness. How does that challenge you? Are there areas in your life where you need to let go of what appears to be unjust/unfair? How can you change your perspective on those situations?
- Recap: Who are the main characters? Describe each of them in 1-2 words.
Getting into the text
These questions are a guide for getting deep into some of the details of the parable. There are lots of ways you can look at the story so use these as much or as little as you want. I would encourage you all to think basically about the two main characters (the landowner and the workers) and what they do/how they act throughout the parable:
- The Landowner:
- What do we know about his character?
- How do we associate that with the way that God has worked in our lives?
- The All-day workers:
- What are the base emotions that they would have been feeling
- What do you think we can learn from their reactions to this situation?
- The 5pm workers:
- How would they have felt, receiving this kind of generosity from the landowner?
- When in your life have you been the 5:30 worker? How did you respond to that?
- What do you think is the main point of Jesus’ story?
- What would this parable have challenged in the worldview of the disciples, especially as they were working so closely with Jesus at the time?
- Which workers do you connect with the most at the moment?
- How is God encouraging or challenging you from this parable? What actions is he calling you to take in response?