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
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.