Description of Wages of Cross-bearing

From the concluding chapter:

A sizeable stream of Matthean scholarship has been at pains to show that, like a good Kantian, Jesus did not use the hope of heavenly treasure to motivate his followers; that Matthew’s Lohngedanken can be fitted into a Pauline framework; that the parable of the workers in the vineyard is the hermeneutical key to everything else Jesus says – or, at the very least, that the parable of the workers in the vineyard was central for the historical Jesus. I have sought to show how unhelpful these claims are for understanding Matthew. The central burden of this study, however, has not been to rectify previous misunderstandings but to articulate Matthew’s vision of the divine economy in its late first-century Jewish context and also to show that some of the Gospel’s central claims about Jesus emerge from this conceptual matrix and should be understood in light of it. (p.199)

Here is the summary from De

In comparison to Mark and Luke, the First Gospel contains a striking preponderance of economic language in passages dealing with sin, righteousness, and divine recompense. For instance, sin is described as a debt, and righteous deeds are said to earn wages with God or treasure in heaven. This study analyzes Matthew’s economic language against the backdrop of other early Jewish and Christian literature and examines its import for the narrative as a whole. Careful attention to this neglected aspect of Matthew’s theology demonstrates that some of the Gospel’s central claims about atonement, Jesus’ death and resurrection, and divine recompense emerge from this conceptual matrix. By tracing the narrative development of the economic motif, the author explains how Jesus saves his people from their sins and comes to be enthroned as Son of Man, sheds new light on numerous exegetical puzzles, and clarifies the relationship of ethical rigorism and divine generosity.