Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager,
'These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.'
"He replied to the one speaking for the rest, 'Friend, I haven't been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn't we?
So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you.
Can't I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?'
"Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first."
Jesus, now well on the way up to Jerusalem, took the Twelve off to the side of the road and said,
"Listen to me carefully. We are on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death.
They will then hand him over to the Romans for mockery and torture and crucifixion. On the third day he will be raised up alive."
It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request.
"What do you want?" Jesus asked. She said, "Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)