The Parable of the Vineyard Workers

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.(A) After agreeing with the workers on one denarius,[a] he sent them into his vineyard for the day. When he went out about nine in the morning,[b] he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He said to them, ‘You also go into my vineyard, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So off they went. About noon and about three,[c] he went out again and did the same thing. Then about five[d] he went and found others standing around[e] and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him.

“‘You also go into my vineyard,’ he told them.[f] When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay,(B) starting with the last and ending with the first.’

“When those who were hired about five came, they each received one denarius. 10 So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each. 11 When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner: 12 ‘These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day’s work and the burning heat.’(C)

13 “He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius?(D) 14 Take what’s yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what is mine? Are you jealous[g] because I’m generous?’[h](E)

16 “So the last will be first, and the first last.”[i](F)

The Third Prediction of His Death

17 While going up to Jerusalem,(G) Jesus took the twelve disciples aside privately and said to them on the way, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death.(H) 19 They will hand him over to the Gentiles(I) to be mocked, flogged,[j] and crucified, and on the third day he will be raised.”[k]

Suffering and Service

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons approached him with her sons.(J) She knelt down to ask him for something.(K) 21 “What do you want?” he asked her.

“Promise,”[l] she said to him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on your right and the other on your left, in your kingdom.”(L)

22 Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”[m](M)

“We are able,” they said to him.

23 He told them, “You will indeed drink my cup,[n] but to sit at my right and left is not mine to give; instead, it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”(N)

24 When the ten disciples heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. 26 It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,(O) 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,(P) and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Q)

Two Blind Men Healed

29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him.(R) 30 There were two blind men sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd demanded that they keep quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” (S)

32 Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”

33 “Lord,” they said to him, “open our eyes.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed him.


  1. 20:2 A denarius = one day’s wage, also in vv. 9,10,13
  2. 20:3 Lit about the third hour
  3. 20:5 Lit about the sixth hour and the ninth hour
  4. 20:6 Lit about the eleventh hour, also in v. 9
  5. 20:6 Other mss add doing nothing
  6. 20:7 Other mss add ‘and you’ll get whatever is right.’
  7. 20:15 Lit Is your eye evil; an idiom for jealousy or stinginess
  8. 20:15 Lit good
  9. 20:16 Other mss add “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
  10. 20:19 Or scourged
  11. 20:19 Other mss read will rise again
  12. 20:21 Lit Say
  13. 20:22 Other mss add and (or) to be baptized with the baptism which I am baptized?”
  14. 20:23 Other mss add and be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.

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