1"For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay the normal daily wage a and sent them out to work.3"At nine o'clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5At noon and again around three o'clock he did the same thing. 6At five o'clock that evening he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, 'Why haven't you been working today?'7"They replied, 'Because no one hired us.'"The owner of the estate told them, 'Then go on out and join the others in my vineyard.'8"That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9When those hired at five o'clock were paid, each received a full day's wage. 10When those hired earlier came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day's wage. 11When they received their pay, they protested, 12'Those people worked only one hour, and yet you've paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.'13"He answered one of them, 'Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14Take it and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am kind?'16"And so it is, that many who are first now will be last then; and those who are last now will be first then."17
As Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him.
18"When we get to Jerusalem," he said, "the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, whipped, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead."20
Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor.
21"What is your request?" he asked. She replied, "In your Kingdom, will you let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one at your right and the other at your left?"
But Jesus told them, "You don't know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of sorrow I am about to drink?" "Oh yes," they replied, "we are able!"
23"You will indeed drink from it," he told them. "But I have no right to say who will sit on the thrones next to mine. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen."24
When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant.
But Jesus called them together and said, "You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. 26But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. 28For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many."29
As Jesus and the disciples left the city of Jericho, a huge crowd followed behind.
Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
The crowd told them to be quiet, but they only shouted louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
Jesus stopped in the road and called, "What do you want me to do for you?"33
"Lord," they said, "we want to see!"
Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)