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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
Laborers in the Vineyard
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out in the morning at dawn to hire workmen for his vineyard. 2When he had agreed with the laborers for a #A day’s wage for a common laborer.denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour (9:00 a.m.) and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right (an appropriate wage).’ And they went. 5He went out about the sixth hour (noon) and the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.), and did the same thing. 6And about the eleventh hour (5:00 p.m.) he went out and found others standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7They answered him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He told them, ‘You go into the vineyard also.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last [to be hired] and ending with the first [to be hired].’ 9Those who had been hired at the eleventh hour (5:00 p.m.) came and received a denarius each [a day’s wage]. 10Now when the first [to be hired] came, they thought they would get more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they protested and grumbled at the owner of the estate, 12saying, ‘These men who came last worked [only] one hour, and yet you have made them equal [in wages] to us who have carried [most of] the burden and [worked in] the scorching heat of the day.’ 13But the owner of the estate replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no injustice. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you and go, but I choose to give to this last man [hired] the same as I give to you. 15Am I not lawfully permitted to do what I choose with what is mine? Or is your eye #Lit evil because I am good?envious because I am generous?’ 16So those who are last [in this world] shall be first [in the world to come], and those who are first, last.”
Death, Resurrection Foretold
17As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve [disciples] aside, and along the way He said to them, 18“Listen carefully: we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and they will [judicially] condemn Him and sentence Him to death, 19and will hand Him over to the Gentiles (Roman authorities) to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and He will be raised [to life] on the third day.”
Preferred Treatment Asked
20Then [Salome] the #This woman is believed to be the sister of Jesus’ mother, Mary.mother of Zebedee’s children [James and John] came up to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down [in respect], asked a favor of Him. 21And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit [in positions of honor and authority] one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22But Jesus replied, “You do not realize what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup [of suffering] that I am about to drink?” They answered, “We are able.” 23He said to them, “You will drink My cup [of suffering]; but to sit on My right and on My left this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24And when the [other] ten heard this, they were resentful and angry with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them [tyrannizing them]. 26It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your [willing and humble] slave; 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [paying the price to set them free from the penalty of sin].”
Sight for the Blind
29As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. 30And two blind men were sitting by the road, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David (Messiah)!” 31The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David (Messiah) have mercy on us!” 32Jesus stopped and called them, and asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33They answered Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” 34Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him [as His disciples].