“These workers last hired have worked only one hour and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”
When the 11th-hour workers get a full day’s wage, the owner of the vineyard reorients the parable. It is no longer about the wages workers deserve but about the owner’s generosity and a Christian social order. The vineyard owner has a unique pay scale that shows a preferential option for the last, the poorest of the workers. The social order of the vineyard is like a circle, in which no one has a place of privilege.
How is the owner like God?