1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When it was about nine o’clock in the morning, he went out again and saw others standing around in the marketplace without work. 4 He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. When he went out again about noon and three o’clock that afternoon, he did the same thing. 6 And about five o’clock that afternoon he went out and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day without work?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go and work in the vineyard too.’ 8 When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages starting with the last hired until the first.’ 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each received a full day’s pay. 10 And when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each one also received the standard wage. 11 When they received it, they began to complain against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.’ 13 And the landowner replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage? 14 Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you. 15 Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”
This is what the scripture says: "Small and great alike are there, and the slave is free of his master". Rabbi Simon said: "this is one of four verses which are like to one another. "Small and great alike are there": this is the world, who is small is able to be made great and who is great is able to be made small, but in the one that is going to come, who is small will not be able to be made great and who is great will not be able to be made small. "And the slave is free of his master": this is the one who does the will of his creator (yotzer) but displeases his yetzer (inclination); death becomes his freedom, as it is said "And the slave is free of his master". Rabbi Meyasha son of Bereh of Rabbi Joshua was insensate for three days because he was sick, and after the three days his sense revived itself, and his father said to him "where were you?". He said to him: "I was in a confused world". And his father said to him: "And what did you see there?" And R. Meyasha said to him: "I saw the multitude of the sons of man now in glory and then in disgrace". And when Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish heard they came to visit him. He said to them "Did you really hear what this youth said?". And they said to him: "What did he say?". He told them of the matter. Reish Lakish said: "And is that not a whole verse: "thus said the Lord God: Remove the turban and lift off the crown! This shall not remain as it is; exalt the low and abase the high?". Rabbi Yochanan said: "Were I not to have come up except to his the matter, this would be enough". Rabbi Huna, the Exilarch, asked Rabbi Chisdai: "What is this that is written "Remove the turban and lift off the crown!"? And he said to him "Remove the turban" from our rabbis, and "lift off the crown" from the kingdoms of the world. He said to him "you are named chesed (i.e. Chisdai) and what you have is chased.