Here is an image of the kingdom of heaven; a rich man went out at day-break to hire labourers for work in his vineyard;
and when he sent them out into his vineyard he agreed with the labourers on a silver piece for the day’s wages.
About the third hour he came out again, and found others standing idle in the market-place;
and to these also he said, Away with you to the vineyard like the others; you shall have whatever payment is fair.
Away they went; and at noon, and once more at the ninth hour, he came out and did the like.
Yet he found others standing there when he came out at the eleventh hour; How is it, he said to them, that you are standing here, and have done nothing all the day?
They told him, It is because nobody has hired us; and he said, Away with you to the vineyard like the rest.
And now it was evening, and the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, Send for the workmen and pay them their wages, beginning with the last comers and going back to the first.
And so the men who were hired about the eleventh hour came forward, and each was paid a silver piece.
So that when the others came, who were hired first, they hoped to receive more. But they were paid a silver piece each, like their fellows.
And they were indignant with the rich man over their pay.
Here are these late-comers, they said, who have worked but one hour, and thou hast made no difference between them and us, who have borne the day’s burden and the heat.
But he answered one of them thus; My friend, I am not doing thee a wrong; did we not agree on a silver piece for thy wages?
Take what is thy due, and away with thee; it is my pleasure to give as much to this late-comer as thee.
Am I not free to use my money as I will? Must thou give me sour looks, because I am generous?
So it is that they shall be first who were last, and they shall be last who were first. Many are called, but few are chosen.
And now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and he took his twelve disciples aside on the way, and warned them,
Now we are going up to Jerusalem; and there the Son of Man will be given up into the hands of the chief priests and scribes, who will condemn him to death.
And these will give him up into the hands of the Gentiles, to be mocked and scourged and crucified; but on the third day he will rise again.
Thereupon the mother of the sons of Zebedee brought them to him, falling on her knees to make a request of him.
And when he asked her, What is thy will? she said to him, Here are my two sons; grant that in thy kingdom one may take his place on thy right and the other on thy left.
But Jesus answered, You do not know what it is you ask. Have you strength to drink of the cup I am to drink of? They said, We have.
And he told them, You shall indeed drink of my cup; but a place on my right hand or my left is not mine to give; it is for those for whom my Father has destined it.
The ten others were angry with the two brethren when they heard it;
but Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that, among the Gentiles, those who bear rule lord it over them, and great men vaunt their power over them;
with you it must be otherwise; whoever would be a great man among you, must be your servant,
and whoever has a mind to be first among you, must be your slave.
So it is that the Son of Man did not come to have service done him; he came to serve others, and to give his life as a ransom for the lives of many.
When they were leaving Jericho, there was a great multitude that followed him.
And there, by the road-side, sat two blind folk, who heard of Jesus’ passing by, and cried aloud, Lord, son of David, have pity on us.
The multitude rebuked them, bidding them be silent; but they cried out all the more, Son of David, Lord, have pity on us.
Then Jesus stopped, and called them to him; What would you have me do for you? he asked.
Lord, they said to him, we would have our eyes opened.
And Jesus, moved with compassion, touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight, and followed after him.