Matthew 20:14-16. “Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”
The great lesson in this parable is that God will give the rewards in His own sovereignty, as it seems best to Him, never out of harmony with His justice. When we labor for Christ, it is not to be for the sake of reward as one who is hired for a specified wage. There is to be no trace of watching the clock or counting the pennies. Such a person is nothing more than a hired servant. The believer who labors for Christ is not just a hired servant to be paid off and dismissed at the end of the work day. He labors for the love of God, and the love of lost souls.
The owner of the vineyard admonished those who complained to simply take the wage they had agreed upon, and go their way. He asked them, “Isn’t it lawful that I do as I choose with my own property, in my own affairs? If I choose to pay the last the same as the first, isn’t that my right? Are you turning an evil eye upon me, giving me attitude, because I have chosen to do a good thing?”
He went on to say that “many are called, but few are chosen.” This is not the call to salvation, but the call to work in the field, the world, reaching the lost for Christ. Indeed, every believer is so called. Few, however, answer the call. They will be rewarded not according to their own idea of what they deserve, but according to the Master’s will.
And so ends this important parable, and Jesus turns His footsteps toward Jerusalem.