The background of the parable found in Matthew 20:1-16 is basically the question that Peter asks in response to the discussion of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-30). Matthew 19:27 tells us, “Then Peter answered and said to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?’”
The parable of the workers in the vineyard is Jesus’ response to the attitude that He detects in Peter’s question. Peter was really asking, “What am ‘I’ going to get for giving up everything to follow You Lord?”
In this parable, Jesus deals with a pervasive attitude that often causes us to think and say, “THAT’S NOT FAIR.” All too often we are like Peter and we say, maybe not out loud for others to hear, “I’ll follow, serve and give to you Lord, but what am I going to get out of it?” And if we are not careful that same attitude will infect every relationship in our life.