Matthew 20:1-16

I recently had the opportunity to preach on Matthew 20:1-16. I’ve never preached before, though I have given plenty of “talks”.  We are doing a series on parables and I was allowed to choose whichever one I wanted. I’ve also felt a little pissed off by this parable so this was a good opportunity to explore that.

The audio of the sermon was recorded on my phone and it’s not of the best quality but here it is anyhow.

I had written a little parallel to the parable based in an Emergency Department waiting room as it seemed fitting. I didn’t use it in the sermon but here it is below.

A doctor went out into the A&E waiting room early in the night shift to speak to the patients who’d just arrived with their sprained ankles and sore throats. He explained the waiting times, the fact that there were no beds, the fact that there wasn’t enough staff. He then apologised and promised that he would get to everyone by morning. The early-comers thanked him for their explanation and waited patiently.


A few hours later he came out again and explained again to the new arrivals with sore ears and back pain that it was a very busy night and that everyone was waiting a long time. The newcomers took their places amongst those waiting and settled down for the long wait. As the sun began to rise on the waiting room, a couple of smelly, dishevelled, patients arrived by ambulance, clearly intoxicated to various degrees. The doctor went to them almost as soon as they arrived and these patients were brought into the main department.


As the sun rose and the morning staff arrived the rest of the patients were all seen and treated before the end of the shift as promised. Yet those who had waited from the beginning of the night grumbled and complained that they waited in the cold and the dark and smell of the waiting room whereas those junkies and riff raff went straight to the front of the queue.

The doctor replied, “friends, i told you that you all would be seen and you all agreed to wait. Am I not allowed to decide who gets seen first? Or are you envious because I treated those patients first?”

The book I found the most helpful was Craig Blomberg’s Interpreting the Parables. 



August 2014

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