The Story of the Workers in the Vineyard
1“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who owned land. He 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. Then he sent them into his vineyard.
3“About nine o’clock in the morning he went out again. He saw others standing in the market doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard. I’ll pay you what is right.’ 5So they went.
“He went out again about noon and at three o’clock and did the same thing. 6About five o’clock he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7“ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard spoke to the person who was in charge of the workers. He said, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay. Begin with the last ones I hired. Then go on to the first ones.’
9“The workers who were hired about five o’clock came. Each received the usual day’s pay. 10So when those who were hired first came, they expected to receive more. But each of them also received the usual day’s pay. 11When they received it, they began to complain about the owner. 12‘These people who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said. ‘You have paid them the same as us. We have done most of the work and have been in the hot sun all day.’
13“The owner answered one of them. ‘Friend,’ he said, ‘I’m being fair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for the usual day’s pay? 14Take your money and go. I want to give the one I hired last the same pay I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Do you feel cheated because I gave so freely 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. On the way, he took his 12 disciples to one side to talk to them. 18“We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said. “The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will sentence him to death. 19Then they will hand him over to the Gentiles. The people will make fun of him and whip him. They will nail him to a cross. On the third day, he will rise from the dead!”
A Mother Asks a Favor of Jesus
20The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus. Her sons came with her. Getting on her knees, she asked a favor of him.
21“What do you want?” Jesus asked.
She said, “Promise me that one of my two sons may sit at your right hand in your kingdom. Promise that the other one may sit at your left hand.”
22“You don’t know what you’re asking for,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup of suffering I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
23Jesus said to them, “You will certainly drink from my cup. But it is not for me to say who will sit at my right or left hand. These places belong to those my Father has prepared them for.”
24The other ten disciples heard about this. They became angry at the two brothers. 25Jesus called them together. He said, “You know about the rulers of the Gentiles. They hold power over their people. Their high officials order them around. 26Don’t be like that. Instead, anyone who wants to be important among you must be your servant. 27And anyone who wants to be first must be your slave. 28Be like the Son of Man. He did not come to be served. Instead, he came to serve others. He came to give his life as the price for setting many people free.”
Two Blind Men Receive Their Sight
29Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho. A large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting by the side of the road. They heard that Jesus was going by. So they shouted, “Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!”
31The crowd commanded them to stop. They told them to be quiet. But the two men shouted even louder, “Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!”
32Jesus stopped and called out to them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
33“Lord,” they answered, “we want to be able to see.”
34Jesus felt deep concern for them. He touched their eyes. Right away they could see. And they followed him.