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Matthew 20 Expanded Bible (EXB)

A Story About Workers

20 [L For] The kingdom of heaven is like a ·person who owned some land [landowner; householder]. One morning, he went out very early to hire some people to work in his vineyard. The man agreed to pay the workers ·one coin [L a denarius; C typical pay for a day laborer] for working that day. Then he sent them into the vineyard to work. About ·nine o’clock [L the third hour] the man went to the marketplace and saw some other people standing there, doing nothing. So he said to them, ‘If you go and work in my vineyard, I will pay you ·what your work is worth [L whatever is right].’ So they went to work in the vineyard. The man went out again about ·twelve o’clock and three o’clock [L the sixth and ninth hour] and did the same thing. About ·five o’clock [L the eleventh hour] the man went to the marketplace again and saw others standing there. He asked them, ‘Why did you stand here all day doing nothing?’ They answered, ‘No one ·gave us a job [hired us].’ The man said to them, ‘Then you can go and work in my vineyard.’

“·At the end of the day [When evening came], the owner of the vineyard said to the ·boss of all the workers [foreman; supervisor; steward], ‘Call the workers and pay them [L their wage]. Start with the last people I hired and end with those I hired first.’

“When the workers who were hired at ·five o’clock [L the eleventh hour] came to get their pay, each received ·one coin [L a denarius; v. 2]. 10 When the workers who were hired first came to get their pay, they ·thought [expected; assumed] they would be paid more than the others. But each one of them also received ·one coin [L a denarius]. 11 When they got their coin, they ·complained to [grumbled at; protested to] the ·man who owned the land [landowner; householder]. 12 They said, ‘Those people were hired last and worked only one hour. But you ·paid them the same as you paid [L made them equal to] us who ·worked hard all day in the hot sun [L bore the burden and heat of the day].’ 13 But the man who owned the vineyard said to one of those workers, ‘Friend, I am ·being fair [L not being unfair] to you. ·You agreed [Did you not agree…?] to work for ·one coin [L a denarius; v. 2]. 14 So take ·your pay [L what is yours] and go. I ·want [choose] to give the man who was hired last the same pay that I gave you. 15 ·I can [L Don’t I have the right to…?] do what I want with ·my own money [L what is mine]. Are you jealous because I am ·good to those people [generous; L good]?’

16 “So those who are last now will someday be first, and those who are first now will someday be last.”

Jesus Talks About His Own Death

17 While Jesus was going [L up] to Jerusalem [C travelers go “up” to Jerusalem because it is built on a hill and because it is God’s holy city], he took his twelve followers aside privately and [as they walked; L on the way] said to them, 18 “Look, we are going [L up] to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be ·turned over [betrayed; delivered over; see 17:22] to the ·leading [T chief] priests and the ·teachers of the law [scribes], and they will ·say that he must die [condemn him to death]. 19 They will turn the Son of Man over to the Gentiles [C the Roman authorities] to ·laugh at [mock] him and ·beat him with whips [scourge/flog him] and crucify him. But on the third day, he will be raised to life again.”

A Mother Asks Jesus a Favor

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee [C James and John] came to Jesus with her sons. She ·bowed [knelt] before him and asked ·him to do something for her [a favor of him].

21 Jesus asked, “What do you want?”

She said, “·Promise [Grant; Declare; L Say] that one of my sons will sit at your right ·side [hand] and the other will sit at your left side in your kingdom [C the positions of highest authority beside the king].”

22 But Jesus said, “You don’t understand what you are asking. ·Can you [Are you able to] drink the cup [C symbolizing suffering, and perhaps God’s judgment experienced by Jesus on the cross; Jer. 25:15–29] that I am about to drink?”

The sons answered, “Yes, we ·can [are able].”

23 Jesus said to them, “You will drink from my cup. But ·I cannot choose [it is not for me to grant/say] who will sit at my right or my left; those places belong to those for whom my Father has prepared them.”

24 When the other ten ·followers [disciples] heard this, they were ·angry [indignant] with the two brothers.

25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the ·Gentiles [nations] love to ·show their power [lord it] over the people. And their ·important leaders [high officials; L great ones] love to ·use [exert] their authority [L over them]. 26 But it ·should not be [must not be; is not to be] that way among you. [Instead, L But] Whoever wants to become great among you must ·serve the rest of you like a servant [L be your servant]. 27 Whoever wants to become first among you must ·serve all of you like a slave [L be slave of all]. 28 In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people [Is. 53:12; John 11:49–50].”

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

29 When ·Jesus and his followers [L they] were leaving Jericho, a ·great many people [large crowd] followed him. 30 [L And look/T behold] Two blind men sitting by the road heard that Jesus was going by, so they shouted, “Lord, Son of David [C a title for the Messiah, a descendant of King David; 2 Sam. 7:11–16], ·have mercy [take pity] on us!”

31 The people ·warned [rebuked; scolded] the blind men to be quiet, but they shouted even more, “Lord, Son of David, ·have mercy [take pity] on us!”

32 Jesus stopped and said to the blind men, “What do you want me to do for you?”

33 They answered, “Lord, ·we want to see [L let our eyes be opened].”

34 Jesus felt ·sorry [compassion] for the blind men and touched their eyes, and at once they could see. Then they followed Jesus.

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Matthew 20 New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “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 them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time

17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

A Mother’s Request

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

21 “What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Two Blind Men Receive Sight

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 20:2 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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