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Matthew 20:1-16

Matthew 20:17-34

The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20)

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Matthew 20


Matthew 20:1-16

Matthew 20:17-34

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Matthew 20

Jesus’ parable of the labourers in the vineyard
For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing in the marketplace idle. 4 And to them he said: You go also into the vineyard and whatever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he said to them: Why do you stand here idle all the day? 7 They said to him: Because no one has hired us. He said to them: You go also into the vineyard. 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward: Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first. 9 And when they who were hired about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10 And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more, but likewise each received a denarius. 11 And when they received it, they grumbled at the master of the house, saying: 12 These last have spent only one hour but you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat. 13 And he answered and said to one of them: Friend, I do you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take that which is yours and go your way. It is my wish to give to this last even as I gave to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own money? Or is your eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first and the first last.

Jesus repeats His teaching about His death and resurrection
17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them: 18 Listen, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man shall be delivered to the chief priests and scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, 19 and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify; and the third day he shall be raised up.

Jesus rebukes those who seek power and teaches the importance of being a servant
   20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, kneeling before him and asking a certain thing of him. 21 And he said to her: What do you desire? She said to him: Command that in your kingdom these my two sons may sit, one on your right hand, and one on your left hand. 22 But Jesus answered and said: You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink? They said to him: We are able. 23 He said to them: You shall drink my cup indeed - but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand, is not mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.
   24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation concerning the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to himself, and said: You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you- must be your servant. 27 And whoever would be first among you shall be your slave. 28 Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Jesus heals two determined blind men
 29 And as they went out from Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And two blind men who were sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying: Lord, have mercy on us, you Son of David. 31 And the crowd rebuked them, that they should hold their peace; but they cried out the more, saying, Lord, have mercy on us, you Son of David! 32 And Jesus stood still and called them, and said: What do you desire I do for you? 33 They said to him: Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 34 And Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately they received their sight and followed him.



20:2 The penny represents salvation. 20:6 Those who don’t serve Christ are standing around doing nothing- no matter their intellect and full diaries. It was only the old and weak who were not taken by anyone to work. But they wanted to work- so they stood there all day in the hope someone might be desperate enough for workers that he would take them. God is desperate for workers, and we who are called to Christ in these last days are those weak workers. Like those called at the last moment in Lk. 14:23 are the street people and desperate. That’s us.

20:8 We are ‘called’ by the Angel appearing when Christ returns to gather us to judgment.

20:14 The implication could be that this man is ‘fired’- he must go his way, away from Jesus, because he thought that he was more worthy than the weak, sick, old or lazy workers who had also been hired. Such spiritual snobbism is so repellent to Jesus.

20:28 A radical inversion of human values. We are here to serve, to give; not to be served, get wealthy or receive some benefit for ourselves. The very opposite of the ‘prosperity Gospel’.

20:32 Why ask this, when the answer was obvious? To focus those men upon their own need. Jesus does the same with us; through His word and hand in our lives, He brings us to perceive how much we want what we say we want.