For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the workers one denarius for the day, and sent them to work in his vineyard. Around 9 a.m. he went out and saw others without work standing in the marketplace.
Go and work in the vineyard too, and I'll pay you what's right,’ he told them. So they went to work. Around noon and 3 p.m. he went out and did the same thing. At 5 p.m. he went out and found others standing there. ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’ he asked them. Because nobody has hired us,’ they replied. ‘Go and work in the vineyard too,’ he told them.
When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his manager, ‘Call the workers in, and pay them their wages. Begin with the workers hired last and then move on to those hired first.’ When those who were hired at 5 p.m. came in, they each received one denarius. 10 So when those who were hired first came in, they thought they would get more, but they also received one denarius. 11 When they received their pay, they complained to the owner. 12 Those who were hired last only worked for an hour, and you've paid them the same as us who worked the whole day in the burning heat,’ they grumbled.
13 The owner answered one of them, ‘My friend, I haven't treated you unfairly. Didn't you agree with me to work for one denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to pay those who were hired last the same as I paid you. 15 Can't I choose to do what I want with my own money? Why should you give me evil looks because I want to do good?’ 16 In this way the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”
17 On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside as they walked along and told them, 18 Look, we're going to Jerusalem, and the Son of man will be betrayed to the chief priests and religious teachers. They will condemn him to death 19 and hand him over to the foreigners* to mock him, whip him, and crucify him. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”
20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came with her two sons to Jesus. She kneeled down before him to make a request.
21 What is it you are asking me for?” Jesus said to her.
Please appoint my sons to sit beside you in your kingdom, one on your right and the other on your left,” she asked.
22 You don't know what you're asking,” Jesus told them. “Are you able to drink the cup I'm about to drink?”
Yes, we are able to do that,” they told him.
23 You will certainly drink from my cup,” he said to them, “but the privilege to sit on my right or on my left isn't mine to give. My Father is the one who has decided who that will be.
24 When the other ten disciples heard what they had asked, they were annoyed with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and told them, “You know that foreign rulers lord it over their subjects, and powerful leaders oppress them. 26 It shall not be like that for you. Whoever among you wants to be the most important will be your servant. 27 Whoever among you wants to be first will be like a slave. 28 In the same way the Son of man didn't come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
29 As they left Jericho, a huge crowd followed Jesus. 30 Two blind men were sitting at the side of the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they called out, “Have mercy on us, Lord, son of David!” 31 The crowd told them to be quiet, but they shouted even louder, “Have mercy on us, Lord, son of David!”
32 Jesus stopped. He called them over, asking, “What do you want me to do for you?”
33 Lord, please make us able to see,” they replied.
34 Jesus had pity on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed him.
* 20:19 Here referring to the Romans. 20:22 Meaning the cup of suffering. 20:23 Or “it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”