Theme: Worshiping God/ Jesus Talks about God’s Kingdom
1. In Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus tells the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. He starts by saying “For the kingdom of heaven is like…” As you read the story, think about how this story is like “the kingdom of heaven.”
2. Jesus ends the parable saying, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” In other words, there will be a great big switch around. As you listen to this episode, think about who the people Jesus says are “the last” and who the people Jesus says are “the first.”
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Peter makes a statement and asks Jesus, “ “Remember, we have left everything to be your followers! What will we get?” Good question, right? So what do we get for following Jesus?
God gives us eternal life. It’s given to all who believe and obey. It’s not the work that you’ve done that earns you God’s grace. Someone who believes at the end of their life receives the same grace as someone who has lived their whole life believing and obeying.
This shows that God’s ways might not be how a person today might think it should be. Some might think that the long-time believer gets a bad deal. That’s just not the case.
A long-time believer walks with the Lord and spends time with him. The long-time believer grows in faith and can rely on the Lord during tough times. God gives us strength to do the good tasks he has set before and we can use his gifts to further his kingdom. We can love him with all our heart, mind, and strength and trust him for whatever he has for us at the end of the day. And the long-time believer celebrates when someone else believes and receives God’s generous promise of eternal life whether they’ve known God all their lives or for just a short time.
Read the Parable of the Workers in Matthew 20:1-16. Want to dig deeper and learn more about God’s grace? Check out the story of thief on the cross that Jesus forgave in Luke 23:39-43 and the bible verses Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 2:11-14
To show the disciples that they had to think about the Kingdom of God differently, Jesus told this story of a vineyard owner who looked throughout the day for workers for his vineyard. That was a story that people who listened to Jesus would understand because they lived in that place and at that time.
We live in a different time and probably in a different place. Create a story in this time and place that might help others understand what the Kingdom of God is like. How would you describe God’s kingdom?
Finish this sentence: “The Kingdom of God is like…”