Parables – The Vineyard Laborers

Small Group Discussion Guide

Sermon Series: Parables
Sermon Title:
The Vineyard Laborers

Break the Ice:
  • Tell us about a time when you received an unexpected gift or surprise. How did you feel in that moment?
  • How do you define grace?
  • Say: The parable of the vineyard workers is Jesus’ response to a question asked by Peter. “We have left everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Like Peter, we all desire to know what to expect from our Heavenly Father. This parable reveals that whatever God has in store for us, you can expect grace!
Bring the Word: 
  • Read Matthew 20:1-16
    • What surprises you most about this parable?
    • Do you think it was fair for the landowner to pay the “one hour workers” the same as the “all day workers?”
    • How would you feel if you worked all day? How would you feel if you worked one hour?
    • What does this parable tell us about the nature of the landowner, and what does this reveal about God? (The landowner was generous and gracious. He gave out of his own generosity, not the merit of the workers.)
    • When we come to God, we can expect grace. How does the truth effect the way we live?

Say: Now that we’ve read the parable, let’s look at a real life story of a woman who comes to Jesus expecting something.

  • Read Luke 8:40-48
    • How long has this woman been suffering? (12 years.)
    • Why did she just want to touch Jesus?
    • According to verse 47, why do you think the woman is trembling and afraid of being discovered? (She was ceremonially unclean, and not supposed to be around people.)
    • She might have expected a rebuke from Jesus, but instead she received grace. How do you think she responded after these graceful words from Jesus?
Bring it Home:
  • Read Romans 6:1-4
    • While it’s true that we can come to God and expect grace, it doesn’t mean that we continue to live in habitual sin. What does this verse tell us about our relationship to sin?
    • What does it mean to be dead to sin? Does it mean that we never sin anymore?
    • What should we do as soon as we recognize there’s sin in our life?
    • How have you seen God’s grace at work in your life?

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