SUNDAY SCHOOL @ HOME – 16th Sunday after Pentecost/ September 20, 2020

Bible Passage (for parents)
Parable of Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16)


Jesus tells another parable this week.  Remember that a parable is a story that is designed to teach something.  This parable is about someone who owns a vineyard.  A vineyard is a place where grapes are grown.  The vineyard owner hires people to work in the vineyard early in the morning and says they will paid a fair day’s wage, which at the time was a denarius (which was a type of coin).  The vineyard owner hired people at later times throughout the day.  When it came time to get paid, everyone was surprise.  Let’s watch the video and hear the what happened.

Watch this video together:



As you saw, the people who had only worked a very short time, were very happy that they got paid for a whole day’s work.  The people who had worked all day long in the hot sun weren’t very happy that they were only paid for a whole day’s work even though that’s what they had agreed to.  They thought they should have gotten paid more than the people who had only worked a very short time.  In fact, they said to the vineyard owner, “you have made them equal to us.”  Did you notice that?  Jesus told this parable in order to teach us something.  Jesus wanted to teach us something about God.  The first thing is that we are all “equal” to God. God loves each of us.  Sometimes someone might think that God loves them and not others, but loves all of us.  The vineyard owner also says, “Are you envious because I am generous?”  Jesus wants us to know that God is generous.  All that we have and all that we are is a gift from God.  God has created the world and every living thing.  God calls us to care for God’s creation and to care for one another.  Jesus also says that in God’s kingdom the first will be last and the last will be first.  That means that in God’s kingdom things are different than they are here on earth.  Things are mixed up.  Instead of hate, there is love.  Instead of violence, there is peace.  Instead of death, there is life.



  • Why do you think Jesus told this parable?  What is Jesus trying to teach us?
  • When have you experienced God’s generosity?
  • When have you been generous with someone else?



Shelter in a Time of Storm.  Go Fish Guys.



A vineyard is a place where grapes are grown.  For a snack to go along with this Sunday School @ Home lesson, freeze grapes.  They will become a slushy, delicious treat!



As we talk about God’s generosity, it is a good time to talk our own generosity, including financial generosity.  Take some time to talk about these questions:

  • Is it hard to give away your money sometimes? Why? What might make it easier?
  • What are some ways we can choose which charities to donate to?
  • What causes are most important to you? How can you support those causes?
  • If you had $1,000 and had to give it away, where would you give it?
  • When you donate your money, is it important that those who receive it express gratitude? Why or why not?
  • We can be generous with our time, our talents, and in other ways.  What is a way you could be generous this week?



Jesus told a parable about someone who owned a vineyard.  The owner hired people at different times during the day and so some worked all day and some for only a short time and yet they all got paid the same amount.  The people who worked hard all day in the hot sun didn’t think that was fair because they thought they should get paid more than the people who worked only a short time.  We’d probably feel that way, too.  Jesus said the vineyard owner was generous.  Jesus said that to teach us that God is generous, too.  Everything we have and all that we are is a gift from God.  God created the whole world, including every living thing.  God sent Jesus into our world, born as a baby in Bethlehem, who grew up, taught, healed people, and then died on the cross and rose to new life.  God is so generous with us.  Because of that, and because we are grateful, we share our time, our talents, and even our money with others so that everyone can experience generosity.  What can you share?


Closing Prayer

Pray:  God, we thank you that your love is for everyone.  Help us remember that we are all your children.  We thank you that you are generous with us and your whole creation.  Help us be generous with others and care for the world you have give us.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Pastor Dan Fugate, Assistant to the Bishop for Discipleship in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA, put this lesson together for Sunday School @ Home.  There will be a new one for each Sunday while we are unable to gather together physically in our congregational buildings.  Contact him at [email protected].