Mercy is not about winning or losing, not about finishing first or last, not about profit or loss. It is about not even counting at all.

Notes And Next Steps

Matthew 20:1-16  + Part 5 of the series “The Parables Of Jesus"


Let’s look at mercy in God’s kingdom, mercy in our hearts, and mercy in our church’s mission.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.” (Matthew 20:1)

“About nine in the morning [the landowner] went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’” (Matthew 20:3,4)

God’s mercy …

“They began to grumble against the landowner. ’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.’” (Matthew 20:11,12)

“Don’t impose your limited standards of fairness on me!”

“‘I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’“ (Matthew 20:14,15)

God’s mercy doesn’t know last.

Thank you for showing your mercy in this church!

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe a time that you were shown exceptional mercy by someone else. What makes you remember and appreciate this?
  2. What are some of the actions or words of the landowner that represent the undeserved mercy of God on sinners? List at least 5 (Matthew 20:1-16).
  3. Agree or Disagree: Mercy isn’t always fair.
  4. Jesus concludes his parable, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16). Your friend asks you what that means. How do you respond?