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.