Jesus Without Language

Kid's Ministry & Sunday School Resources

Parable of the Vineyard Owner (Matthew 20) | Story

Jesus was a storyteller, and this powerful small story goes against the grain of so much that is taught to kids. It doesn’t matter how many followers or likes you can score, Jesus will love you the same. Equally, it doesn’t matter how many bible verses you can recite or how much muck your sin has created, God’s going to take you in as his chosen child.

This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.

Main Passage : Matthew 20:1-16

Biblical retelling of the Parable of the Vineyard Owner, Matthew 20, for youngsters

Jesus was a storyteller, the crowd loved his stories and the Bible records many of them for us. One day, he was trying to explain the kingdom of heaven and told a story about a man who owned a vineyard, where they grow grapes.

It was picking season and the grapes were round and fat and juicy and needing to be collected, so the man went into the town to find some men to help pick them. It was morning, and soon he found the men waiting to be offered work. He agreed to pay them the standard daily wage and took them back to the vineyard.

The men started working, and soon the quiet vines were full of men chatting and singing and moving huge bunches of grapes into baskets to be collected. Their fingers were stained purple and their backs hot from the heat of the sun. There was too much work and not enough men.

In the middle of the day, the owner went back to the town to find more men. He found a crowd of men who had not been hired and brought them back to help. Then he went back to town at 3 in the afternoon and brought more men, and again at 5. When it reached 6, and evening started coming, the owner told the manager it was time for everyone to stop working.

The manager handed the men who had worked 1 hour the full daily wage, then he gave the exact same amount to those who had worked 3 hours, 6 hours and those who worked all day. The men who had worked all day were not pleased, why had they worked hard in the baking sun when those who came at the end got the same pay?

They confronted the owner, grumbling. The owner told them to take the wage they had agreed, it was his choice to pay the last men the same as the first. Were they really angry he was being generous?

Jesus’ story was telling the crowd an important message. Jesus put it this way: “The last will be first, and the first will be last.”

In God’s kingdom everyone is valued, there isn’t the best and the worst, everyone is loved. Not because of what they do, or how hard they work, but because God chose them and loves them. Those who think they should be first will end up at the back, and those who think they should be at the back will find themselves at the front.

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