In this variation of the Vineyard parable, Jesus looks at the question of privilege and reward. Who is allowed to work in the Vineyard and what is the basis for final reward?
The LORD of the Vineyard sets out to hire laborers to work in his Vineyard. Early in the morning he set out to hire them for a fair wage, the standard payment of a laborer for a day’s work.
Law - Moses - Israel - Classes - Laborers
The Law of Moses anticipated in Israel four economic classes of laborers, 1) land owners and their families, 2) servants, some of whom were bonded and made part of the family, 3) hired freemen who contracted themselves out, and lived on a wage, and finally foreigners who had made their home among the Israelites.
These laborers were to be paid at the end of the day, which lasted from sunup to sundown.
Master - Place - Market - Hours - Laborers
The master went to the gathering place in the market, after three hours to hire more laborers, and again he went there the sixth and the ninth hour. Finally he went out at the eleventh hour, to hire the few disappointed workers who had been passed over all day long.They would be employed for one hour, but it was better than nothing.
Finally as the sun descended the laborers lined up for their pay, the last employed in the front of the line. When they received a full days wage for one hour’s work, they were stunned! So also were the others who had worked three, six , nine and even 12 hours.”Surely we will be overpaid as well, since he overpaid those who only worked one hour.”.
Master - Days - Wage - Ones - Hours
But to each, the master gave a full days wage, to the ones who worked three, six, and nine hours and finally to the ones who worked twelve long, hot hours.
The longer working employees murmured...
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