Matthew 20:15

15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

Matthew 20:15 in Other Translations

15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'
15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’
15 Can't I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?'
15 Don't I have the right to do what I want with my business? Are you jealous because I'm generous?'

Matthew 20:15 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 20:15

Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?
&c.] External gifts and outward privileges, such as enjoying the word and ordinances, are God's own; and he may, as he does, bestow them on whom he will, and when and where he pleases; as he gave them to the Jews, and continued them many hundred years, when the Gentiles were utterly with them destitute of them; and as he has bestowed them in a more abundant manner for a long time on the Gentiles, whilst the Jews despise and reject them. Special grace is his own, which he gives to whom he pleases; it is by his own grace, and not the merits of men, that any are chosen, adopted, justified, pardoned, regenerated, and called; that they have faith, hope, love, repentance, or perform new obedience from a new heart, and new principles. Heaven and glory is his own, of his own preparing and giving; and both grace and glory are disposed of, and that very rightly and lawfully, according to his sovereign good will and pleasure: he chooses, adopts, justifies, pardons, regenerates, calls, and sanctifies whom he pleases; and brings what sons to glory he thinks fit, and bestows it equally upon them: and in so doing, does no wrong, or any injustice to any of his creatures; not to the fallen angels, by choosing some of their species, and confirming them in their original constitution; and by leaving them, the fallen angels, in their apostasy; nor by making provision for fallen man, and not them, nor by punishing them with everlasting destruction; nor do they ever complain of any wrong being done them: nor to non-elect men; for none of Adam's race have any right to grace or glory, and therefore no wrong is done to any of them, by withholding them from them, whereby nothing is taken from them, and given to others; and by punishing them for sin; nor to any elect men, by making others partners with them; since they are all alike by nature, unworthy of grace and glory, and deserving of wrath: what is enjoyed by any of them, is of mere grace, and not through merit; and one has not a whit the less, for what the other is possessed of; so that there is no room for envy, murmuring, and complaint:

is thine eye evil because I am good?
An "evil eye", is opposed to a good eye, frequently in Jewish writings, as a "good eye" signifies beneficence and liberality; hence it is said F3

``He that gives a gift, let him give it (hpy Nyeb) "with a good eye"; bountifully and generously; and he that devoteth anything, let him devote it with a "good eye",''

cheerfully and freely: so an "evil eye" intends envy and covetousness, as it does here: and the sense is, art thou envious at the good of others, and covetous and greedy to monopolize all to thyself, because I am liberal, kind, and beneficent? Men are apt to complain of God, and charge his procedures in providence and grace, with inequality and injustice; whereas he does, as he may, all things according to his sovereign will, and never contrary to justice, truth, and goodness; though he is not to be brought to man's bar, and men should submit to his sovereignty.


F3 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 65. 1. & 71. 1. & 72. 1.

Matthew 20:15 In-Context

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.”
17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them,

Cross References 1

  • 1. Deuteronomy 15:9; Mark 7:22
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