“For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.”
King James Version (KJV)
20:1 That some of those who were first called may yet be last, our Lord confirms by the following parable: of which the primary scope is, to show, That many of the Jews would be rejected, and many of the Gentiles accepted; the secondary, That of the Gentiles, many who were first converted would be last and lowest in the kingdom of glory; and many of those who were last converted would be first, and highest therein. The kingdom of heaven is like - That is, the manner of God's proceeding in his kingdom resembles that of a householder. In the morning - At six, called by the Romans and Jews, the first hour. From thence reckoning on to the evening, they called nine, the third hour; twelve, the sixth; three in the afternoon, the ninth; and five, the eleventh. To hire labourers into his vineyard - All who profess to be Christians are in this sense labourers, and are supposed during their life to be working in God's vineyard.
Mt 20:1 The Laborers in the Vineyard; The Ambitious Mother SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 20: The Householder and the Laborers. Those Hired at the Eleventh Hour. The Recompense to All. The Lord's Sufferings at Jerusalem Portrayed. The Ambition of the Mother of Zebedee's Sons. The Baptism of Suffering. Two Blind Men Healed at Jericho. For the kingdom of heaven. This parable is added to illustrate what was said just before, in the last chapter. A man [that is] a householder. The householder represents God, the vineyard is the kingdom of Christ, the laborers his disciples. Went out early in the morning to hire. Said to be a common custom in the East. Unemployed laborers gather in the market place of the villages, waiting for an employer.