Jesus was a phenomenal communicator. In fact, Jesus was the greatest communicator to ever live. He used strategies and techniques that were previously unheard of to get his point across in any situation, regardless of the circumstances. What is interesting is that his most common form of speaking was in parables. He would use these analogies to provide a way of application for the gospel in people lives. The parable about the workers in the vineyard is one of many, but is one of the few that were only told in the book of Matthew. Although there a many assumptions as to the reasoning for this, nobody can be sure of the reason why this parable is nowhere to be found in the other gospels. It is especially confusing because in this parable Jesus talks about end times and entrance into heaven; which would have been, and still is, an important subject to any believer.
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Although there are many important messages in this parable, the general theme seems to be the equal opportunity of believers and non-believers, close followers and distant on-lookers, and friend and enemies to experience the ultimate gift of eternal life. The parable takes place in...