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Matthew 20

20
The Story of the Workers in the Vineyard
1“The kingdom of heaven is like the manager of an estate who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2He agreed to give them the usual pay for a day’s work, and he sent them into the vineyard.
3“About nine o’clock, he went out again and saw others standing in the market doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I’ll pay you what’s fair.’ 5So they went.
“He went out again at about noon and at three o’clock and did the same thing. 6About five o’clock he went out and found others still standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’
7“ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You go and work in my vineyard too.’
8“When evening came, the manager of the vineyard told his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and give them their pay. Begin with the ones I hired last and end with the ones I hired first.’
9“When the workers who’d been hired at about five o’clock came in, each one was given the usual pay for a whole day. 10So when those who’d been hired first came in, they expected to receive more. But each of them also received a day’s pay. 11When they saw what they were getting, they began to complain about the manager. 12‘Those people who were hired last only worked for one hour,’ they said. ‘But you paid them the same as us, even though we did most of the work and were out in the hot sun all day.’
13“The manager answered one of them, ‘I’m not being unfair to you, my friend. Didn’t you agree to work for the usual day’s pay? 14Take your money and go. I want to give the ones I hired last the same pay I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Why should you feel cheated just because I was generous to the others?’
16“So those who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last.”
Jesus Speaks a Third Time About His Coming Death
17Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way, he took his 12 disciples to one side to talk to them. 18“We’re going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and there the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will sentence him to death 19and hand him over to the Gentiles, who will make fun of him and whip him. They will nail him to a cross, but on the third day he will rise from the dead!”
High Positions in the Kingdom
20The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus. They came along with her. She got down on her knees and asked him for a favor.
21“What do you want?” Jesus asked.
She said, “Promise that in your kingdom, my two sons will get thrones right next to yours, one on each side of you.”
22“You don’t know what you’re asking for,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup of suffering that I’m going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
23Jesus said to them, “You will certainly drink from my cup. But it’s not up to me who will sit next to me. Those places belong to the ones my Father has prepared them for.”
24When the other ten disciples heard about this, they got angry at the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them all together and said, “You know that the leaders of the Gentiles like to use their power over others and that their high officials order people around. 26Don’t be like that. Instead, any one of you who wants to be great must become a servant to all the others, 27and anyone who wants to be first must be a slave. 28Be like the Son of Man, who didn’t come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life to set people free.”
Two Blind Men Become Able to See
29As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples, a large crowd was following him. 30Two men who were blind were sitting by the side of the road. When they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!”
31The crowd told them to stop shouting and be quiet. But the two men shouted even more loudly, “Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!”
32Jesus stopped and called out to them, “What do you want me to do for you?”
33“Lord,” they answered, “we want to be able to see.”
34Jesus felt deep concern for them, so he went over and touched their eyes. Right away they became able to see, and they followed him.
20
A Story About Workers
1“The kingdom of heaven is like a person who owned some land. One morning, he went out very early to hire some people to work in his vineyard. 2The man agreed to pay the workers one coin for working that day. Then he sent them into the vineyard to work. 3About nine o’clock the man went to the marketplace and saw some other people standing there, doing nothing. 4So he said to them, ‘If you go and work in my vineyard, I will pay you what your work is worth.’ 5So they went to work in the vineyard. The man went out again about twelve o’clock and three o’clock and did the same thing. 6About five o’clock the man went to the marketplace again and saw others standing there. He asked them, ‘Why did you stand here all day doing nothing?’ 7They answered, ‘No one gave us a job.’ The man said to them, ‘Then you can go and work in my vineyard.’
8“At the end of the day, the owner of the vineyard said to the boss of all the workers, ‘Call the workers and pay them. Start with the last people I hired and end with those I hired first.’
9“When the workers who were hired at five o’clock came to get their pay, each received one coin. 10When the workers who were hired first came to get their pay, they thought they would be paid more than the others. But each one of them also received one coin. 11When they got their coin, they complained to the man who owned the land. 12They said, ‘Those people were hired last and worked only one hour. But you paid them the same as you paid us who worked hard all day in the hot sun.’ 13But the man who owned the vineyard said to one of those workers, ‘Friend, I am being fair to you. You agreed to work for one coin. 14So take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same pay that I gave you. 15I can do what I want with my own money. Are you jealous because I am good to those people?’
16“So those who are last now will someday be first, and those who are first now will someday be last.”
Jesus Talks About His Own Death
17While Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he took his twelve followers aside privately and said to them, 18“Look, we are going to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be turned over to the leading priests and the teachers of the law, and they will say that he must die. 19They will give the Son of Man to the non-Jewish people to laugh at him and beat him with whips and crucify him. But on the third day, he will be raised to life again.”
A Mother Asks Jesus a Favor
20Then the wife of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons. She bowed before him and asked him to do something for her.
21Jesus asked, “What do you want?”
She said, “Promise that one of my sons will sit at your right side and the other will sit at your left side in your kingdom.”
22But Jesus said, “You don’t understand what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?”
The sons answered, “Yes, we can.”
23Jesus said to them, “You will drink from my cup. But I cannot choose who will sit at my right or my left; those places belong to those for whom my Father has prepared them.”
24When the other ten followers heard this, they were angry with the two brothers.
25Jesus called all the followers together and said, “You know that the rulers of the non-Jewish people love to show their power over the people. And their important leaders love to use all their authority. 26But it should not be that way among you. Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. 27Whoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave. 28In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people.”
Jesus Heals Two Blind Men
29When Jesus and his followers were leaving Jericho, a great many people followed him. 30Two blind men sitting by the road heard that Jesus was going by, so they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31The people warned the blind men to be quiet, but they shouted even more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
32Jesus stopped and said to the blind men, “What do you want me to do for you?”
33They answered, “Lord, we want to see.”
34Jesus felt sorry for the blind men and touched their eyes, and at once they could see. Then they followed Jesus.