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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
Workers in a vineyard
1As Jesus was telling what the kingdom of heaven would be like, he said:
Early one morning a man went out to hire some workers for his vineyard. 2After he had agreed to pay them the usual amount for a day's work, he sent them off to his vineyard.
3About nine that morning, the man saw some other people standing in the market with nothing to do. 4He said he would pay them what was fair, if they would work in his vineyard. 5So they went.
At midday and again about three in the afternoon he returned to the market. And each time he made the same agreement with others who were lazing around with nothing to do.
6Finally, about five in the afternoon the man went back and found some others standing there. He asked them, “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?”
7“Because no one has hired us,” they answered. Then he told them to go and work in his vineyard.
8That evening the owner of the vineyard told the man in charge of the workers to call them in and give them their money. He also told the man to begin with the ones who were hired last.#Lv 19.13; Dt 24.15. 9When the workers arrived, the ones who had been hired at five in the afternoon were given a full day's pay.
10The workers who had been hired first thought they would be given more than the others. But when they were given the same, 11they began complaining to the owner of the vineyard. 12They said, “The ones who were hired last worked for only one hour. But you paid them the same that you did us. And we worked in the hot sun all day long!”
13The owner answered one of them, “Friend, I didn't cheat you. I paid you exactly what we agreed on. 14Take your money now and go! What business is it of yours if I want to pay them the same that I paid you? 15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Why should you be jealous, if I want to be generous?”
16Jesus then said, “So it is. Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.”#Mt 19.30; Mk 10.31; Lk 13.30.
Jesus again tells about his death
(Mark 10.32-34; Luke 18.31-34)
17As Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he took his twelve disciples aside and told them in private:
18We are now on our way to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses. They will sentence him to death, 19and then they will hand him over to foreigners#20.19 foreigners: The Romans, who ruled Judea at this time. who will make fun of him. They will beat him and nail him to a cross. But on the third day he will rise from death.
A mother's request
(Mark 10.35-45)
20The mother of James and John#20.20 mother of James and John: The Greek text has “mother of the sons of Zebedee”. See 26.37. came to Jesus with her two sons. She knelt down and started begging him to do something for her. 21Jesus asked her what she wanted, and she said, “When you come into your kingdom, please let one of my sons sit at your right side and the other at your left.”#20.21 right side…left: The most powerful people in a kingdom sat at the right and left side of the king.
22Jesus answered, “Not one of you knows what you are asking. Are you able to drink from the cup#20.22 drink from the cup: In the Scriptures a cup is sometimes used as a symbol of suffering. To “drink from the cup” is to suffer. that I must soon drink from?”
James and John said, “Yes, we are!”
23Jesus replied, “You certainly will drink from my cup! But it isn't for me to say who will sit at my right side and at my left. That is for my Father to say.”
24When the ten other disciples heard this, they were angry with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called the disciples together and said:#Lk 22.25,26.
You know that foreign rulers like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over everyone they rule. 26But don't act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others.#Mt 23.11; Mk 9.35; Lk 22.26. 27And if you want to be first, you must be the slave of the rest. 28The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue#20.28 rescue: The Greek word often, though not always, means the payment of a price to free a slave or a prisoner. many people.
Jesus heals two blind men
(Mark 10.46-52; Luke 18.35-43)
29Jesus was followed by a large crowd as he and his disciples were leaving Jericho. 30Two blind men were sitting beside the road. And when they heard that Jesus was coming their way, they shouted, “Lord and Son of David,#20.30 Son of David: See the note at 9.27. have pity on us!”
31The crowd told them to be quiet, but they shouted even louder, “Lord and Son of David, have pity on us!”
32When Jesus heard them, he stopped and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”
33They answered, “Lord, we want to see!”
34Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Straight away they could see, and they became his followers.