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. 2 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. 3 About ·nine o’clock [L the third hour] 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 [L whatever is right].’ 5 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. 6 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?’ 7 They answered, ‘No one ·gave us a job [hired us].’ The man said to them, ‘Then you can go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “·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.’
9 “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.