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Bible Story: ‘Jesus tells the parable of the vineyard workers’

God's goodness and grace is not fair! 

Do you play team games sometimes?  Have you ever really wanted to be on a particular team?  It was a bit like that in the market place in towns in Jesus day..... not for playing games, but being chosen by a Landowner to work for him for the day.  The men wanting work were probably not Jews, but Arabs.  They were not considered worth much.  They were known as  "fellaheen", or "sand dwellers" because they lived in tents out in the desert, earning a living as best they could. 

If you wanted to be rude to someone you would call him a "sand dweller".   If they didn't get work, they had no money for the family to buy food.  The least you could live on was one denarius.  It wasn't much but you could at least buy bread.  There was no Social Security system then - it was work or nothing.  So here we have a story about a man who owned a vineyard.  What's a vineyard?  Where grapes are grown, on vines.  He must have been very keen to get workers to pick his grapes, as he was down at the market at dawn - and he went himself, he didn't just send his manager.  You have to pick grapes just when they are ripe so the job has to be done quickly.  It's the same today.

He looked at the men.  "You look nice and strong. (indicate  a child)  "Will you work for me today for a denarius?"  (Ask children in the front row)  "YES, Sir, we will!"  

Skectboard drawing of the parable of the vineyard workers

Scripture reference

Matthew 20: 1-16

A beautiful Bible story written by Korky and Anni Davey (OAC ministries). You can however also tell the story without a painting.

You can use this idea in a:

Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assembly, RE lesson, youth work, youth group, preaching illustration, creative preaching

You can download the story below:

Tags: Children's moments in church, Downloads - lessons and extra material, God's promises, God's love, Grace / the Law, Parables of Jesus, God's care, New Testament stories - sketchboard