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Matthew  ◦   Chapter 20

1 "For God's kingdom of love is like this: One day, a wealthy estate owner went out to the marketplace at six o'clock in the morning to hire people to work in his vineyard.2 After he agreed to pay them one day's wage each for the entire day, he sent them into his fields.

3 "About nine o'clock he went out and found others standing in the market-square, doing nothing.4 He told them, 'Go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you what is right.'5 So they went. He went out again at noon, and at three in the afternoon, and did the same thing.6 Then at five o’clock, with only one hour left in the workday, he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been doing nothing all day?'

7 "They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'Then go and work in my vineyard.'

8 "At six in the evening, when the workday was over, the owner instructed his foreman: 'Call the workers and pay them their wages. Start with those who came to the field last, and go back, finishing with those who came to the field first.'

9 "The workers who were hired at five o'clock came first, and each received one day's wage.10 When those who were hired first and started at six in the morning came to get paid, they expected to receive more, but each one was given the same amount.11 When they received their pay, they began to complain that the estate owner was unfair.12 They grumbled, 'These people hired at five only worked an hour and have been paid the same as us who have labored all day in the heat!'

13 "But the owner answered them gently, 'Friends, I have done you no wrong. Didn't you agree to work for one day's wage?14 Take your pay and go home happy. I want to give the people who came last the same as I gave you.15 Don't I have the right to do what I want with my resources? Why can't you rejoice for your fellow workers? Are you jealous because of my generosity?'

16 "So those who consider themselves last will find themselves first in God's kingdom, while those who think they deserve to be first will actually find themselves last."

17 As Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem, he took his twelve disciples aside to prepare them. He said:18 "We are going to Jerusalem; and when we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of the church leaders, theologians and lawyers. They will sentence him to death19 and will turn him over to the Gentile authorities to be beaten, abused, mocked, and crucified. But on the third day he will arise to life!"

20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons brought her boys and knelt before Jesus in order to ask him a favor.

21 Jesus inquired, "What is it that you want of me?"

She said, "I ask that you allow my sons to sit beside you in your kingdom — one on the left and the other on your right."

22 Jesus said with warning in his voice, "You have no idea what you are asking." Then he looked at them and said, "Do you think you can drink of the same cup as I am going to drink?"

"Yes, we can," they replied.

23 Jesus said somberly, "Yes, you will drink from my cup; but it is not up to me who will sit on my right or left. These places will go to those for whom my Father has prepared them."

24 When the other ten disciples heard about this request, they became resentful and angry with the two brothers.25 Jesus called all twelve together and said: "You know how the rulers of the Gentiles — those who have not partaken of the Remedy — abuse power and lord over others, using their high office to dictate and control those beneath them.26 It should not be like this with you. Instead, those who want to be great among you must use their energies to serve, uplift, and bless the others.27 Whoever wants the first position in God's kingdom must be a slave to the welfare of others,28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve the needs of humanity, and to give his life as the healing Remedy to set many free from their terminal state."

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, they were followed by a large crowd.30 Beside the road sat two blind men. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they began shouting, "Son of David, have mercy on us!"

31 The crowd, rather than helping, scolded the blind men, telling them to be quiet. But they shouted all the louder, "Son of David, have mercy on us!"

32 Jesus stopped and called out to them, "What would you have me do for you?"

33 They answered eagerly, "Lord, we want to see!"

34 Jesus was merciful to them and touched their eyes. Immediately they were cured and could see, and they followed him.