But that is an egocentric (me in the center of the story) way of thinking about the story. Jesus blows this perspective out of the water by having the owner pay everyone the same wage. I would say that there is no good news in this story (only grumbling) if we look at it from a fair wages perspective. The good news is to be found in an owner who has a passion for people “standing around idle all day” in the “marketplace”. The owner is concerned about unemployment and idleness! And the desire of the owner is for people to be working in his vineyard and contributing to its productivity. And for this people receive enough to live on “the usual daily wage” or as the Lord ’s Prayer frames it “give us this day our daily bread”.
This is what the kingdom of heaven is about. Working in God’s vineyard and having enough to sustain us every day. It is not about you getting what you think you deserve from God, the Church, or your employer. It is about the joy of being employed in God’s work of service. If we insist on arguing and complaining about how we are not getting ours then we are stuck with the grumblers and complainers and miss the joy of the Lord.
Pastor Ron de Groot