Randall’s Humble Analysis of the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (NIV)
In this parable, maybe my favorite, Jesus Christ Himself compares the kingdom of heaven with a landowner, the owner of the vineyard. It’s quite obvious that the vineyard represents heaven. If you have problems with this statement, don’t read on and waste your time.
The first group of workers who needed work agreed to the day’s pay of a denarius (X amount of $ for that day and time). They started to work quite early in the morning.
The owner of the vineyard went a total of 4 more times that day to pick up and hire additional idle workers (hours 3-6-9-11, which could easily be the hours of 9 a.m., 12 noon, 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. with starting time being at 6 a.m. and quitting time at 6 p.m.).
When the owner decided, in the evening, that the day was over, he instructed his foreman to pay the workers their wages. These wages could be compared to the ‘benefits’ of going to heaven or even to the act of His grace which permits one's entry into heaven. Why not?
All the workers received the same wage, regardless of their starting time in the vineyard. In fact, the workers who were hired at the 11th hour worked a total of only 1 hour! The first workers worked between 11 and 12 hours! What’s going on here?
Of course, the early workers protested and talked against the landowner (Jesus, owner of heaven, and many do talk against Him do they not?).
The workers complained that they were all made equal by such a practice. The landowner replied that he wanted to give those workers hired last the same pay as those hired earlier on (Jesus’ reward of heaven).
The landowner then asked 2 questions: Didn’t he have the right to do as he pleased with his own money? and Were they envious because he was generous? (It is quite a lot of generosity, isn’t it?
That’s the beautiful Jesus for you.)
So here we see that Jesus is generosity itself. That’s clear in the second question. And in the first question, it’s clear that heaven is owned and governed by none other than Jesus and we can take it or leave it, so to speak and to use an old cliché. I don’t say this sarcastically or in a negative sense, but in a realistic sense. If one of us owns a thousand acres, don’t we want to insist on choosing what we will do with that acreage?
So, to conclude, if Jesus governs heaven as He sees fit, we can be sure that we will be surprised from time to time not only by heaven’s activities (I don’t mean immoral activities), but by some of the ‘souls’ or faces up in heaven ‘coordinating’ the activities. It’s my way of thinking, anyway.
Lastly, for those who simply LOVE to QUOTE to the whole world St. Paul’s famous verses as regards those souls who will NOT be going to heaven (I Corinthians 6: 9-10, and let’s remember that heaven doesn’t ‘belong’ to St. Paul, bless him; plus, nobody ever quotes verse 11 which explains the whole thing), here is a quote (Mat. 21: 31-32) in Jesus the Master’s own words in which prostitutes enter the kingdom, to wit:
“I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”
Personally I like this kind of forceful yet generous Jesus. He closes the parable by saying some of the last will be first and vice versa. (Makes those who are first angry, don't you think?)
Thanks a million for reading me.