16th Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 20 (September 18–24)

Isaiah 55:6–9; Ps. 27:1-9; Philippians 1:12–14, 19–30; Matthew 20:1–16


Hymn of Invocation
O God, my faithful God (LSB 745)

Hymn of the Day / Catechetical Hymn of the Week
Salvation unto us has come (LSB 555)

Hymns for the Distribution of the Holy Communion
Seek where you may to find a way (LSB 557)

Now, my tongue, the myst’ry telling (LSB 630)

O dearest Jesus, what law hast Thou broken (LSB 439)

Take my life and let it be (LSB 783)

Hymn of Departure
Lord of all hopefulness (LSB 738)


Disciples Live in Their Vocations by Grace through Faith in Christ

Those who are sent as “laborers for His vineyard” (Matt. 20:1) depict the wide diversity of vocations to which the disciples of Christ Jesus are called. Whatever our particular stations in life may be, we are called to live and serve by faith in His promises. Our labors do not merit anything before Him, for He is already generous to one and all without partiality. In mercy He has chosen to bear “the burden of the day and the scorching heat” on our behalf, to make us equal to Himself, and to give us what belongs to Him, that is, the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. 20:12–15). This way of the Lord is foolishness to the world and foreign to our thoughts, but He draws near, so that “He may be found” (Is. 55:6), that “He may have compassion” and “abundantly pardon” (Is. 55:7). So it is that we are found in Christ Jesus, and He is honored in our bodies, “whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20), by “fruitful labor” (Phil. 1:22), or by suffering. It is by faith in His forgiveness that our works are “worthy of the Gospel” (Phil. 1:27).

Summary:  LCMS

Hymns:  Dr. Richard Stuckwisch

Looking Forward to Sunday Morning (3 Year Lectionary): Sixteenth Sunday of Pentecost — Dr. Carl Fickenscher — Issues Etc.

Dr. Carl Fickenscher, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the readings and propers with Pr. Todd Wilken on Issues Etc. (mp3, 57:11, 52.4 MB, 2017-Sep-20)

Pastors' Round-Table -- The Laborers in the Vineyard: Matthew 20:1-16 -- Issues Etc.

Pr. Ben Ball of St. Paul Lutheran-Hamel, Ill., and Pr. Chris Hull of Christ Lutheran, Normal, Ill, discuss the Gospel reading with Pastor Todd Wilken on Issues Etc. (mp3, 56:09, 22.6 MB, 2013-Jan-22)

Evil Eyes and Eccentric Employers: God’s Crazy Method of Paying the Laborers in His Vineyard - Chad Bird


Lectionary Podcast - Proper 20 - Series A - Matthew 20:1-16 with Dr. John G. Nordling

Dr. John G. Nordling, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the Gospel lesson from the Greek text.

Matthew 20:1–16 (SBLGNT)

1 Ὁμοία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ ὅστις ἐξῆλθεν ἅμα πρωῒ μισθώσασθαι ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ.

2 ⸂συμφωνήσας δὲ⸃ μετὰ τῶν ἐργατῶν ἐκ δηναρίου τὴν ἡμέραν ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ.

3 καὶ ἐξελθὼν περὶ τρίτην ὥραν εἶδεν ἄλλους ἑστῶτας ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ ἀργούς·

4 καὶ ἐκείνοις εἶπεν· Ὑπάγετε καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ ὃ ἐὰν ᾖ δίκαιον δώσω ὑμῖν·

5 οἱ δὲ ἀπῆλθον. ⸀πάλιν ἐξελθὼν περὶ ἕκτην καὶ ἐνάτην ὥραν ἐποίησεν ὡσαύτως.

6 περὶ δὲ τὴν ⸀ἑνδεκάτην ἐξελθὼν εὗρεν ἄλλους ⸀ἑστῶτας, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Τί ὧδε ἑστήκατε ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν ἀργοί;

7 λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· Ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἡμᾶς ἐμισθώσατο. λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ὑπάγετε καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰς τὸν ⸀ἀμπελῶνα.

8 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης λέγει ὁ κύριος τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος τῷ ἐπιτρόπῳ αὐτοῦ· Κάλεσον τοὺς ἐργάτας καὶ ἀπόδος ⸀αὐτοῖς τὸν μισθὸν ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ τῶν ἐσχάτων ἕως τῶν πρώτων.

9 ⸂καὶ ἐλθόντες⸃ οἱ περὶ τὴν ἑνδεκάτην ὥραν ἔλαβον ἀνὰ δηνάριον.

10 ⸂καὶ ἐλθόντες⸃ οἱ πρῶτοι ἐνόμισαν ὅτι ⸀πλεῖον λήμψονται· καὶ ἔλαβον ⸂τὸ ἀνὰ δηνάριον καὶ αὐτοί⸃.

11 λαβόντες δὲ ἐγόγγυζον κατὰ τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου

12 ⸀λέγοντες· Οὗτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι μίαν ὥραν ἐποίησαν, καὶ ἴσους ⸂αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν⸃ ἐποίησας τοῖς βαστάσασι τὸ βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα.

13 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς ⸂ἑνὶ αὐτῶν εἶπεν⸃· Ἑταῖρε, οὐκ ἀδικῶ σε· οὐχὶ δηναρίου συνεφώνησάς μοι;

14 ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε· θέλω δὲ τούτῳ τῷ ἐσχάτῳ δοῦναι ὡς καὶ σοί·

15 ⸀οὐκ ἔξεστίν μοι ⸂ὃ θέλω ποιῆσαι⸃ ἐν τοῖς ἐμοῖς; ⸀ἢ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρός ἐστιν ὅτι ἐγὼ ἀγαθός εἰμι;

16 οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ⸀ἔσχατοι.

Literal Translation

(1)  For the kingdom of Heaven is like a man, a housemaster, who went out when it was early to hire workers into his vineyard.

(2)  And agreeing with the workers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.

(3)  And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing idle in the market.

(4)  And he said to them, You also go into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is just. And they went.

(5)  Again, going out about the sixth and ninth hour, he did the same.

(6)  And going out about the eleventh hour, he found others standing idle, and said to them, Why do you stand here idle all day?

(7)  They said to him, Because no one has hired us. He said to them, You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is just.

(8)  But evening having come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, Call the workers and pay them the wage, beginning from the last to the first.

(9)  And the ones having come the eleventh hour each received a denarius.

(10)  And having come, the first supposed that they would receive more. And they also each received a denarius.

(11)  And having received it, they murmured against the housemaster,

(12)  saying, These last have performed one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.

(13)  But answering, he said to one of them, Friend, I do not wrong you. Did you not agree to a denarius with me?

(14)  Take yours and go. But I desire to give to this last as also to you.

(15)  Or is it not lawful for me to do what I desire with my things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?

(16)  So the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few chosen.

Scripture quotations marked SBLGNT are from the SBL Greek New Testament. Copyright © 2010 Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software. Holmes, M. W. (2011–2013). The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature.