This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Matthew 20:1-16, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
One day, Jesus told his disciples a story. It’s about a man who owned a big vineyard and needed some help to take care of it.
He said, “God’s kingdom is like a man who owned a big vineyard. Early in the morning, he went to the market and found some workers who were just standing around. He asked them if they would work in his vineyard for one day and told them he would pay them a denarius.”
The workers said yes and went with the man to his vineyard. A few hours later, the man went back to the market and found some more workers who weren’t doing anything. He asked them if they would work in his vineyard, and they agreed to work for whatever was fair. Then the man did the same thing two more times throughout the day, and each time he found some workers who weren’t working.
Finally, at the eleventh hour (which is almost the end of the day), the man found some more workers who were just standing around. He asked them why they weren’t working, and they said no one had hired them all day. So he told them they could work too.
When the day was over, the man called all the workers and paid them their wages. He started with the workers who only worked for one hour and gave them each one a denarius. The workers who worked all day saw this and thought they would get more money since they worked longer. But they were surprised when they received a denarius too.
They were not happy and grumbled about it to the man. One of them said, “That’s not fair! We worked all day in the hot sun, and they only worked for one hour. They shouldn’t get the same amount of money as us!”
The man replied, “Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t we agree on a denarius for a day’s work? Take your money and go home. I want to give the same amount of money to the workers who only worked for one hour. It’s my choice to be generous, isn’t it? Or are you jealous because I’m generous?”
Then Jesus said that in God’s kingdom, sometimes the last will be first, and the first will be last.
- God is always fair and just, even if we don’t understand why things happen.
- God’s love is available to everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done.
- It’s never too late to start working for God’s kingdom. Just like the workers who were hired late in the day, we can start serving God at any time in our lives.
- We should trust God to provide for us. The workers who were hired late in the day trusted the man to pay them what was fair, even though they didn’t have a specific agreement. In the same way, we should trust God to provide for us and to give us what we need.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant