Matthew 20:1-16 The Owner, Steward, Workers, And Vineyard.
The metaphor of a vineyard here is doubtless meant to call to remembrance passages like Isaiah 5 that refer to God’s OT covenant people Israel as his vineyard (Cf. https://ministeriumverbidivini.com/2018/07/04/isaiah-5-ii-judgment-on-the-beloveds-vineyard/. The labourers here would be the many prophets and other ministers of the word whom the LORD God sent to them to labour that the LORD might have fruit among them to his glory. There were some who preached the word from the very beginning of their covenant life up to the coming of Jesus the Messiah. There were some of the religious leaders who balked at the idea that Jesus and his rag tag of apostles would actually be numbered with these ministers, as they no doubt thought that they were (vv. 1-14). However, as Jesus stated, it was completely lawful for him to reward his servants as he saw fit (v. 15a). The reality was, some of them were in fact evil, and opposed Jesus because he was good. Ultimately it comes down to one thing and one thing only – the predestinating election of God. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (v. 16 Cf. 19:30; 22:14) The LORD had called many through his servants across the centuries, but ultimately only the chosen can respond in faith.