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Matthew 20:1 Rewards

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There were several groups of men who were not working. Rewards was for one denarius for the day. Those hired later were only promised whatsoever is right.

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Matthew 20:1-16

1. I read 5 different Bible translations, and all started with For the kingdom of heaven. Jesus wants us to know what the kingdom of heaven is like.

“Jesus pictures harvesttime, during which a farmer will hire a certain number of seasonal workers each day according to his needs.” (Blomberg, Craig L., The New American Commentary, Volume 22, Matthew. [Nashville: Broadman Press], 302)

When the crops are ready every farmer needs help, especially during harvest time.

2. This farmer agreed to pay a denarius (or penny) for the day.

“The number of times this man has to look for more workers suggests that the story is not entirely realistic and that Jesus is more interested in communicating spiritual truths.” (Blomberg, 302)

“The vineyard often stands for Israel in Jewish thought (Isaiah 5:1-7). The denarius was a standard minimum day’s wage, so the landowner’s promise is entirely fair.” (Blomberg, 302)

Additional Workers

3-5. The landowner went out several more times to hire workers. “The employer promises payment merely in terms of what is ‘right’ (just or fair).” (Blomberg, 302)

6-7. The landowner went out to hire more workers late in the day. “These ‘last’ workers, for whatever reason, were ‘last’ by normal human performance standards. Jesus was about to challenge normal human reasoning and standards when it comes to kingdom rewards.” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from]


8-12. “Those who worked longer but were paid a single denarius grumbled at the landowner (v. 11) since, by human reckoning, they deserved more that those who came later, though they were paid appropriately (20:2).” (Moody, 1489)

“The workers ‘grumbling’ echoes the common complaint of Israel against God in Moses’ day (e.g., Exodus 16:7-12; Numbers 14:27; Deuteronomy 1:27).” (Blomberg, 303)

“You will be rewarded for you faithfulness to the task which God has given you to perform, regardless of how small or how short or how insignificant it appears.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV. [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 107)

Think about it. Would you complain?

13-16. “Three main points associated with the three main characters or groups are now stated ad seriatim.” (Blomberg, 304)

“First, vv. 13-14a focus on the earlier groups of workers and demonstrate God’s fairness or justice with all his people.” (Blomberg, 304)

“Second, vv. 14b-15 focus attention on the last group of workers as recipients of God’s marvelous grace.” (Blomberg, 304)

“Third, v. 16 underlines God’s ultimate perspective—all true disciples are equal in his eyes. That ‘the last will be first, and the first will be last’ ties the parable back in with 19:30.” (Blomberg, 304)

“The lesson for Christ’s disciples is obvious. We should not serve Him because we want to receive an expected reward, and we should not insist on knowing what we will get. God is infinitely generous and gracious and will always give us better than we deserve.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 74)


Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Blomberg, Craig L., The New American Commentary, Volume 22, Matthew. Nashville: Broadman Press
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
The Moody Bible Commentary, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2014
Robertson, A. T., A Harmony of the Gospels. New York, HarperCollins Publishers
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004


Rich Young Ruler                                                                                                                                             Prediction of Crucifixion

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