Laborers in the Vineyard
20 “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. 2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a [a]denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour (9:00 a.m.) and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4 and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right (an appropriate wage).’ And they went. 5 He went out about the sixth hour (noon) and the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.), and did the same thing. 6 And 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?’ 7 They 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].’(A) 9 Those who had been hired at the eleventh hour (5:00 p.m.) came and received a denarius each [a day’s wage]. 10 Now when the first [to be hired] came, they thought they would get more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they protested and grumbled at the owner of the estate, 12 saying, ‘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.’ 13 But 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? 14 Take what belongs to you and go, but I choose to give to this last man [hired] the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not lawfully permitted to do what I choose with what is mine? Or is your eye [b]envious because I am generous?’ 16 So those who are last [in this world] shall be first [in the world to come], and those who are first, last.”
Death, Resurrection Foretold
17 As 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, 19 and 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
20 Then [Salome] the [c]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.(B) 21 And 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.” 22 But 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.” 23 He 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.”
24 And when the [other] ten heard this, they were resentful and angry with the two brothers. 25 But 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].(C) 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your [willing and humble] slave; 28 just 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
29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him.(D) 30 And 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)!” 31 The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David (Messiah) have mercy on us!” 32 Jesus stopped and called them, and asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33 They answered Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him [as His disciples].
- Matthew 20:2 A day’s wage for a common laborer.
- Matthew 20:15 Lit evil because I am good?
- Matthew 20:20 This woman is believed to be the sister of Jesus’ mother, Mary.
- Matthew 20:8 : Lev 19:13; Deut 24:15
- Matthew 20:20 : Mark 10:35-45
- Matthew 20:25 : Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:25-27
- Matthew 20:29 : Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43