Kenneth Bailey comments:
Each worker receives wages “according to his labor,” not according to his or her production! A capitalist world judges the value of everything on the basis of production. This attitude is deeply ingrained in Western society. Throughout history many faithful servants have labored and seen little fruit as judged by the world. God has a different measuring stick, and wages are on the basis of labor, not production. In this text Paul affirms that God is pleased with and will reward that labor, irrespective of the visible results (Paul through Mediterranean Eyes, 127).
I just finished reading Kenneth Bailey’s Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes. I have loved reading Bailey’s other works on the parables of Jesus and, especially, the Prodigal Son. In the book Bailey takes up Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians. The strength of Bailey’s reflections on Paul is his analysis of Paul’s rhetoric. His identification of Paul’s use of chiasms and Paul’s appeal to Isaiah and Amos enlightens and clarifies anyone’s reading of 1 Corinthians. Although Bailey’s commentary isn’t as quite as informative (he primarily follows Thiselton and Fee), his autobiographical asides from experiences in the Middle East are jewels hidden throughout the text for the reader to discover and to sense the power of Paul’s letter for contemporary disciples in the Mediterranean and beyond.