Matthew 20:1-16

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went. 5Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’ 9When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ 13But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright © by The Lockman Foundation. lockman.org

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