Hey Shawn, Just a couple things to throw out here for your consideration.
For the kingdom of heaven is like
When I was in elementary school we had what the teacher would call our "thinking caps". I'm sure I'm not the only one that heard that expression. And I may just have to change my name to "redundant" but for me, whenever I see "The kingdom of heaven is like . . ." I see it to be saying "now, in order for you to hear what I'm about to say, you need to TAKE YOUR THINKING CAP OFF . . ." Everything in the spirit is opposite from what we think in the flesh. so with my rational thinking laid aside, what's the spirit saying to my heart?
unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
Again, "in" the kingdom, what is right is not what is reasonable. it's what is "righteous". The penny at the end of the day wasn't a gift to those who agreed to work for a penny, it was an earned wage. But to those that followed, the penny was a gift because they didn't work the full day to earn the full penny. Rather than complain about how much "more" we think we earned the penny, should we not instead rejoice in the fact that pennies were afforded to everyone in the vineyard?
Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
This is what really pops out at me . . .beginning from the last unto the first. "That" is the governing principle of the kingdom. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. According to rational reason, the ones who came in last and now are first should be given much less than those who were first but now are last. But that was never the agreement. The agreement was that they'd be given what's "right". Kingdom truth isn't about the measuring of what's diserved, but instead, it's about experiencing "rightness". Not "proving" right versus wrong, but "experiencing" rightness. That's exactly what spiritual truth does "in" us. These guys were all standing around "idle" until they were found by the owner to come and work in his vineyard. Spiritual idleness. They may have left their idle actions, but they still carried with them their idle mentality.
And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 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 the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Originally, the agreement for how much they would earn was based on the personal logic of those who were there early on. But then "they" changed their perception because of what they saw others receiving. It wasn't based on "rightness" it was based on "reason". "The kingdom of God" is not based on reason, it's based on "rightness".
I believe the reason why many are called but only a few are chosen is not because the few chosen are better workers or more effecient individuals. I beleive it's because "out" of all who are "called" only a "few" walk in the "rightness" whereas all others walk in reason. Walking in rightness enables you to be chosen to fulfill the call. Walking in reason only creates confrontation to those who feel they "deserve" to be called.