For the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is an householder…
It was now plain that the early-hired labourer had little interest in the work, and that it was no satisfaction to him to have been able to do twelve times as much as the last hired. He had the hireling's spirit, and had been longing for the shadow and counting his wages all day long. English sailors have been known to be filled with pity for their comrades whose ships only hove in sight in time to see the enemy's flag run down, or to fire the last shot in a long day's engagement. They have so pitied them for having no share in the excitement and glory of the day, that they would willingly give them as a compensation their own pay and prize money. And the true follower of Christ, who has listened to the earliest call of his Master, and has revelled in the glory of serving Him throughout life, will from the bottom of his heart pity the man who has only late in life recognized the glory of His service, and has had barely time to pick up his tools when the dusk of evening fails upon him. It is impossible that a man whose chief desire was to advance his Master's work, should envy another labourer who had done much less than himself. The very fact that a man envies another his reward, is enough of itself to convict him of self-seeking in His service.
(M. Dods, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.