H. Leo Boles comments that there are many expositors that have varied opinions on the parable of the vineyard. The following can be said without controversy: There is a benefactor – he who hires. There are those who have benefitted with employment. The benefactor had the prerogative to pay what he wished; the hired ones have the privilege to accept or not. Moreover, he who hires can employ as many as he wishes and pay the amount he wishes. At “settling up” time all are to receive what was agreed to. When the settling up of account was rendered what shall be said about those who thought those hired last received too much? There is not much good to be said about those who complained. Does that say anything about those of us today who think similar? Lest we lose sight of the parable, however, there is a greater point: the kingdom of heaven is like the analogy that Jesus just shared. Those who were added to the kingdom of God will receive the same, whether they came in early or late. “Peter and the rest of the twelve [19:27] have indeed left all for Christ, but they must not think that their priority in time gives them an overwhelming advantage” (Morris, pp. 498-499).
Not only is there equality in the reward for one’s devotion to the Lord in the realm of eternity, but while here on this earth the Lord’s disciple is to adopt an attitude of service, with no thought of being first (20:26). This is much more difficult than is realized. We have in our culture an attitude of competition; I especially notice it among the males, but foolishness would reside with me if I thought for a moment females did not also struggle with it.