Chapter 20

Heaven’s Empire is like a land owner who went out every morning at the same time to hire workers to work in his vineyard. 2The workers agreed on the wages for the day and he sent them into his vineyard. 3Then he went out around the third hour and saw others standing around in the market place 4and he said to them, ‘You go off into the vineyard and work, too. I’ll pay you whatever is fair to pay you.’ And they went off. 5He went out again and did the same at about the sixth hour and then about the ninth hour. 6Around the eleventh hour he found others standing around and he said to them, ‘Why are y’all standing around here for the whole day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He says to them, ‘Go off into the vineyard, too.’ 8When evening came the owner of the vineyard says to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay, going from last to first.’ 9The ones who were hired around the eleventh hour were paid a full day’s pay. 10The ones hired first thought they would get more, but they also got a day’s pay. 11After they got their pay, they griped at the owner 12saying, ‘They were hired last and only did one hour of work, and you paid them the same amount you paid us who worked all day in the burning heat.’ 13He said to one of them, ‘Friend, have I been unfair to you? Didn’t you agree to a day’s pay? 14Take your stuff and leave. I want to give the last hired the same that I give to you. 15Or is it not possible for me to do what I want with what’s mine? Or are you envious because I’m generous?’ 16So the last will be first and the first will be last.

17On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, 18"Look, we’re going to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scholars and they’ll sentence him to death. 19They’ll give him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, beaten, and crucified. On the third day He’ll be raised.

20Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee, with her sons, came to Jesus to worship him and ask him for something. 21Jesus said to her, “What do you want?” She says to him, “Say that my two sons will sit with you in your Empire. One on your right and one on your left.” 22But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup I’m fixing to drink?” They said to him, “We’re able.” 23He says to them, “You’ll certainly drink my cup, but to sit on my right or on my left isn’t mine to give, but it’s for those my Father has prepared it for.

24When the ten heard, they were angry with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them toward him and said, “Y’all know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26But it isn’t like that for y’all. Whoever wants to be great will become your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first will become your slave. 28Certainly the Son of Man didn’t come to be served, but to serve, and to give His soul as a ransom in place of many.

29As they left Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting along the road. They heard that Jesus was coming, so they shouted, “Have mercy on us, Master, son of David!” 31But the crowd yelled at them and told them to be quite. But they shouted even louder, “Have mercy on us, Master, son of David!” 32Jesus stood up and called them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33They said to him, “Master, we want our eyes to be opened.” 34Jesus had compassion for them, he touched their eyes and immediately they could see again and they followed him.

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