For the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is an householder…
Certainly it is sovereign grace alone which leads the Lord God to engage such sorry labourers as we are. Let us inquire —
I. How MAY THE LORD BE SAID TO GO OUT?
1. The impulse of grace comes, before we think of stirring to go to Him.
2. In times of revival, He goes forth by the power of His Spirit, and many are brought in.
3. There are times of personal visitation with most men, when they are specially moved to holy things.
II. WHAT IS THE HOUR HERE MENTIONED? It represents the period between twenty-five and thirty-five years of age, or thereabouts.
1. The dew of youth's earliest and best morning hour is gone.
2. Habits of idleness have been formed by standing in the marketplace so long. Harder to begin at third hour than first. Loiterers are usually spoiled by their loafing ways.
3. Satan is ready with temptation to lure them to his service.
4. Their sun may go down suddenly, for life is uncertain. Many a day of life has closed at its third hour.
5. Fair opportunity for work yet remains; but it will speedily pass away as the hours steal round.
6. As yet the noblest of all work has not been commenced; for only by working for Christ can life be made sublime.
III. WHAT WERE THEY DOING TO WHOM HE SPOKE? Standing idle.
1. Many are altogether idling in a literal sense; mere loafers with nothing to do.
2. Many are idle with laborious business — industrious triflers, wearied with toils which accomplish nothing of real worth.
3. Many are idle because of constant indecision.
4. Many are idle though full of sanguine intentions.
IV. WHAT WORK WOULD THE LORD HAVE THEM DO? He would have them work by day in His vineyard.
1. The work is such as many of the best of men enjoy.
2. The work is proper and fit for you.
3. For that work the Lord will find you tools and strength.
4. You shall work with your Lord, and so be ennobled.
5. Your work shall be growingly pleasant to you
6. It shall be graciously rewarded at the last.
V. WHAT DID THEY DO IN ANSWER TO HIS CALL? "Went their way." May you, who are in a similar time of the day, imitate them!
1. They went at once. Immediate service.
2. They worked with a will.
3. They never left the service, but remained till night.
4. They received the full reward at the day's end.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.