Jesus Is A Day Labourer
The gospel text tell us the story of the land owner who hires people throughout the day and when the work day is done he pays them all the same wage. This leads to complains from this who worked that whole day.
Jesus is not a carpenter as we understand that to be a skilled craftsman who is a member of the middle class. People who sell their labor in ancient Israel are peasants who have lost their land. That is as low as you can get in that society. So it is not coincidence that Jesus was born as one of them.
Just a few miles from Nazareth is the booming Greco-Roman city Sephoris. On its building sites Jesus would have toiled with his father. In the morning he would have stood in the market place like the vineyard workers in our story. Like them he would have hoped that someone would hire him.
The real scandal of our gospel story is not that everybody gets the same wage, but that there are people still standing around unemployed at 5 o’clock, and hence they are unable to earn their living. The kingdom of God is like a landowner who doesn’t pay his workers what they deserve, but what they need, because he knows that they unemployed are as hungry as the employed.
Rev. Olaf Baumann, sermon, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles WA.