Matthew 20; Matthew 21

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Matthew 20

1 "The kingdom of heaven is like a person who owned some land. One morning, he went out very early to hire some people to work in his vineyard.
2 The man agreed to pay the workers one coinn for working that day. Then he sent them into the vineyard to work.
3 About nine o'clock the man went to the marketplace and saw some other people standing there, doing nothing.
4 So he said to them, 'If you go and work in my vineyard, I will pay you what your work is worth.'
5 So they went to work in the vineyard. The man went out again about twelve o'clock and three o'clock and did the same thing.
6 About five o'clock the man went to the marketplace again and saw others standing there. He asked them, 'Why did you stand here all day doing nothing?'
7 They answered, 'No one gave us a job.' The man said to them, 'Then you can go and work in my vineyard.'
8 "At the end of the day, the owner of the vineyard said to the boss of all the workers, 'Call the workers and pay them. Start with the last people I hired and end with those I hired first.'
9 "When the workers who were hired at five o'clock came to get their pay, each received one coin.
10 When the workers who were hired first came to get their pay, they thought they would be paid more than the others. But each one of them also received one coin.
11 When they got their coin, they complained to the man who owned the land.
12 They said, 'Those people were hired last and worked only one hour. But you paid them the same as you paid us who worked hard all day in the hot sun.'
13 But the man who owned the vineyard said to one of those workers, 'Friend, I am being fair to you. You agreed to work for one coin.
14 So take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same pay that I gave you.
15 I can do what I want with my own money. Are you jealous because I am good to those people?'
16 "So those who have the last place now will have the first place in the future, and those who have the first place now will have the last place in the future."
17 While Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he took his twelve followers aside privately and said to them,
18 "Look, we are going to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be turned over to the leading priests and the teachers of the law, and they will say that he must die.
19 They will give the Son of Man to the non-Jewish people to laugh at him and beat him with whips and crucify him. But on the third day, he will be raised to life again."
20 Then the wife of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons. She bowed before him and asked him to do something for her.
21 Jesus asked, "What do you want?" She said, "Promise that one of my sons will sit at your right side and the other will sit at your left side in your kingdom."
22 But Jesus said, "You don't understand what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?" The sons answered, "Yes, we can."
23 Jesus said to them, "You will drink from my cup. But I cannot choose 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 heard this, they were angry with the two brothers.
25 Jesus called all the followers together and said, "You know that the rulers of the non-Jewish people love to show their power over the people. And their important leaders love to use all their authority.
26 But it should not be that way among you. Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant.
27 Whoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave.
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."
29 When Jesus and his followers were leaving Jericho, a great many people followed him.
30 Two blind men sitting by the road heard that Jesus was going by, so they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
31 The people warned the blind men to be quiet, but they shouted even more, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy 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."
34 Jesus felt sorry for the blind men and touched their eyes, and at once they could see. Then they followed Jesus.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Matthew 21

1 As Jesus and his followers were coming closer to Jerusalem, they stopped at Bethphage at the hill called the Mount of Olives. From there Jesus sent two of his followers
2 and said to them, "Go to the town you can see there. When you enter it, you will quickly find a donkey tied there with its colt. Untie them and bring them to me.
3 If anyone asks you why you are taking the donkeys, say that the Master needs them, and he will send them at once."
4 This was to bring about what the prophet had said:
5 "Tell the people of Jerusalem, 'Your king is coming to you. He is gentle and riding on a donkey, on the colt of a donkey.'"
6 The followers went and did what Jesus told them to do.
7 They brought the donkey and the colt to Jesus and laid their coats on them, and Jesus sat on them.
8 Many people spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9 The people were walking ahead of Jesus and behind him, shouting, "Praisen to the Son of David! God bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, all the city was filled with excitement. The people asked, "Who is this man?"
11 The crowd said, "This man is Jesus, the prophet from the town of Nazareth in Galilee."
12 Jesus went into the Temple and threw out all the people who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of those who were exchanging different kinds of money, and he upset the benches of those who were selling doves.
13 Jesus said to all the people there, "It is written in the Scriptures, 'My Temple will be called a house for prayer.' But you are changing it into a 'hideout for robbers.'"
14 The blind and crippled people came to Jesus in the Temple, and he healed them.
15 The leading priests and the teachers of the law saw that Jesus was doing wonderful things and that the children were praising him in the Temple, saying, "Praisen to the Son of David." All these things made the priests and the teachers of the law very angry.
16 They asked Jesus, "Do you hear the things these children are saying?" Jesus answered, "Yes. Haven't you read in the Scriptures, 'You have taught children and babies to sing praises'?"
17 Then Jesus left and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
18 Early the next morning, as Jesus was going back to the city, he became hungry.
19 Seeing a fig tree beside the road, Jesus went to it, but there were no figs on the tree, only leaves. So Jesus said to the tree, "You will never again have fruit." The tree immediately dried up.
20 When his followers saw this, they were amazed. They asked, "How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?"
21 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will be able to do what I did to this tree and even more. You will be able to say to this mountain, 'Go, fall into the sea.' And if you have faith, it will happen.
22 If you believe, you will get anything you ask for in prayer."
23 Jesus went to the Temple, and while he was teaching there, the leading priests and the older leaders of the people came to him. They said, "What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?"
24 Jesus answered, "I also will ask you a question. If you answer me, then I will tell you what authority I have to do these things.
25 Tell me: When John baptized people, did that come from God or just from other people?" They argued about Jesus' question, saying, "If we answer, 'John's baptism was from God,' Jesus will say, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'
26 But if we say, 'It was from people,' we are afraid of what the crowd will do because they all believe that John was a prophet."
27 So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Jesus said to them, "Then I won't tell you what authority I have to do these things.
28 "Tell me what you think about this: A man had two sons. He went to the first son and said, 'Son, go and work today in my vineyard.'
29 The son answered, 'I will not go.' But later the son changed his mind and went.
30 Then the father went to the other son and said, 'Son, go and work today in my vineyard.' The son answered, 'Yes, sir, I will go and work,' but he did not go.
31 Which of the two sons obeyed his father?" The priests and leaders answered, "The first son." Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God before you do.
32 John came to show you the right way to live. You did not believe him, but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Even after seeing this, you still refused to change your ways and believe him.
33 "Listen to this story: There was a man who owned a vineyard. He put a wall around it and dug a hole for a winepress and built a tower. Then he leased the land to some farmers and left for a trip.
34 When it was time for the grapes to be picked, he sent his servants to the farmers to get his share of the grapes.
35 But the farmers grabbed the servants, beat one, killed another, and then killed a third servant with stones.
36 So the man sent some other servants to the farmers, even more than he sent the first time. But the farmers did the same thing to the servants that they had done before.
37 So the man decided to send his son to the farmers. He said, 'They will respect my son.'
38 But when the farmers saw the son, they said to each other, 'This son will inherit the vineyard. If we kill him, it will be ours!'
39 Then the farmers grabbed the son, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
40 So what will the owner of the vineyard do to these farmers when he comes?"
41 The priests and leaders said, "He will surely kill those evil men. Then he will lease the vineyard to some other farmers who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
42 Jesus said to them, "Surely you have read this in the Scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone. The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.'
43 "So I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people who do the things God wants in his kingdom.
44 The person who falls on this stone will be broken, and on whomever that stone falls, that person will be crushed."
45 When the leading priests and the Pharisees heard these stories, they knew Jesus was talking about them.
46 They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the people, because the people believed that Jesus was a prophet.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.