About nine in the morning…and again around noon… and (again) about three in the afternoon… and (again) about five, he went out and said to those standing around, “(will) you go and work in my vineyard?” (verses 3,7)
Commentators differ on the exact nature of this parable’s interpretation. One certain option would be relative to the time and season in which people put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. For most it is as children or teens; for some it’s in their adult life, even their golden years; for a few it is at the very end.
On a personal level, I am so thankful for God’s grace (gives us what we DON’T deserve) and mercy (doesn’t give us what we DO deserve). Those of my congregation know for many years I had prayed for the surety of my brother’s salvation. However, it was not until the ‘eleventh hour,’ at age seventy-four, facing the daunting reality of esophageal cancer surgery that he made his peace with God.
As a post script – if you are praying for someone who has continued to push God out of his/her live – draw encouragement from this parable and the story of the thief on the cross.