Jesus tells a parable of laborers in a vineyard. He predicts his own death and resurrection. He came not to be served, but to serve others. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
a denarius a day. That was the minimum wage of those days.
the third hour. That is, around 9 am.
VERSE 4. He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way.
the sixth … hour. That is, around noon.
the ninth hour. That is, around 3 pm.
VERSE 6. About the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’
the eleventh hour. That is, around 5 pm.
VERSE 7. “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ “He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’
VERSE 8. When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’
When evening had come. That is, at around 6 pm.
VERSE 9. “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius.
VERSE 10. When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius.
VERSE 11. When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household,
VERSE 12. saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’
VERSE 13. “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius?
VERSE 14. Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you.
It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. Rewards are under the sovereign control of the master of the household, who represents God the Father. He is the one before whom all our accounts will be settled.
VERSE 15. Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’
the last will be first, and the first last. Many people who have prominent places will find themselves demoted to the last of all.
And many who were at the end of the line will find themselves promoted to the head of the line.
VERSE 17. As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them,
VERSE 18. “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,
VERSE 19. and will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify; and the third day he will be raised up.”
What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels »
Matthew 12:40. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matthew 16:21. From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
Matthew 17:22-23. While they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered up into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and the third day he will be raised up.”
Matthew 20:19. and will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify; and the third day he will be raised up.
VERSE 20. Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, kneeling and asking a certain thing of him.
VERSE 21. He said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these, my two sons, may sit, one on your right hand, and one on your left hand, in your Kingdom.”
in your Kingdom. She correctly foresees that Jesus Christ will have a kingdom.
VERSE 22. But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to him, “We are able.”
Are you able to drink the cup. Jesus is addressing to James and John. He speaks metaphorically of his forthcoming betrayal and torture and crucifixion.
Isaiah 51:17. Awake, awake! Stand up, Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of his wrath. You have drunken the bowl of the cup of staggering, and drained it.
VERSE 23. He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with, but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it is for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
You will indeed drink my cup. Jesus says they will indeed share the cup of suffering and death with Him.
- James suffered death at the hands of Herod Agrippa I.
- And John is thought to have died a martyr’s death near the end of the first century.
Acts 12:2. He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.
right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ. More verses about the right hand.
VERSE 24. When the ten heard it, they were indignant with the two brothers.
VERSE 25. But Jesus summoned them, and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
the rulers of the nations lord it over them. That is the way of the carnal leader:
- To domineer over the people you lead
- To play power games over the people you should be compassionate toward
- To act like Machiavelli instead of like Jesus Christ
- To provoke people’s fears and restrict their rights
- To be bossy and authoritarian
Unfortunately, some Christian leaders behave in these ways.
VERSE 26. It shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
It shall not be so among you. That is, “must not.” Power tactics are forbidden among Christian leaders.
Authentic Christian leaders do not use power tactics. If they do, they are not Christian leaders.
shall be your bondservant. Authentic Christian leadership takes the role of a servant. In the world of Jesus Christ, the one who serves the needs of others is the real leader.
However, many Christians want to be FIRST, not last. They do not overcome their ego. They wound the Christian community and forfeit blessings from God.
Mark 9:35. He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.”
VERSE 28. even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
the Son of Man came … to serve, and to give his life. What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels.
the Son of Man. These are regular Greek words. In Greek, they are not capitalized.
ransom: A ransom is a payment to free a slave.
many. The Greek word for “many” does not necessarily exclude “all.”
VERSE 29. As they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.
VERSE 30. Behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!”
VERSE 31. The multitude rebuked them, telling them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!”
What do you want me to do for you? Since Jesus Christ knows all things, he knew what they wanted. He did not need to ask this question.
However, he does ask it, in order to prompt people to say what they want. We need to say aloud what we want from God.
What do you want Jesus Christ to do for you? Can you say it aloud?
VERSE 33. They told him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”
VERSE 34. Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.