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1 For the kingdome of heauen is like vnto a man that is an housholder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

2 And when hee had agreed with the labourers for a peny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3 And he went out about the third houre, and saw others standing idle in the market place,

4 And said vnto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, & whatsoeuer is right, I wil giue you. And they went their way.

5 Againe he went out about the sixth and ninth houre, and did likewise.

6 And about the eleuenth houre, he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith vnto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

7 They say vnto him, Because no man hath hired vs. He saith vnto them, Go ye also into the vineyard: and whatsoeuer is right, that shall ye receiue.

8 So when euen was come, the lord of the vineyard saith vnto his Steward, Call the labourers, and giue them their hire, beginning from the last, vnto the first.

9 And when they came that were hired about the eleuenth houre, they receiued euery man a penie.

10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should haue receiued more, and they likewise receiued euery man a penie.

11 And when they had receiued it, they murmured against the good man of the house,

12 Saying, These last haue wrought but one houre, and thou hast made them equall vnto vs, which haue borne the burden, and heat of the day.

13 But he answered one of them and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penie?

14 Take that thine is, and goe thy way, I will giue vnto this last, euen as vnto thee.

15 Is it not lawfull for mee to doe what I wil with mine owne? Is thine eye euill, because I am good?

16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many bee called, but fewe chosen.

17 And Iesus going vp to Hierusalem, tooke the twelue disciples apart in the way, and said vnto them,

18 Behold, we goe vp to Hierusalem, and the Sonne of man shall be betraied vnto the chiefe Priests, and vnto the Scribes, and they shall condemne him to death,

19 And shal deliuer him to the Gentiles to mocke, and to scourge, and to crucifie him: and the third day he shall rise againe.

20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children, with her sonnes, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

21 And he said vnto her, What wilt thou? She saith vnto him, Grant, that these my two sonnes may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left in thy kingdome.

22 But Iesus answered, and said, Ye know not what ye aske. Are ye able to drinke of the cup that I shall drinke of, and to be baptized with the baptisme that I am baptized with? They say vnto him, We are able.

23 And he saith vnto them, Yee shall drinke indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptisme that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to giue, but it shall be giuen to them for whom it is prepared of my father.

24 And when the ten heard it, they were moued with indignation against the two brethren.

25 But Iesus called them vnto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion ouer them, and they that are great, exercise authoritie vpon them.

26 But it shall not be so among you: But whosoeuer will bee great among you, let him be your minister.

27 And whosoeuer will be chiefe among you, let him be your seruant.

28 Euen as the Sonne of man came not to be ministred vnto, but minister, and to giue his life a ransome for many.

29 And as they departed from Hiericho, a great multitude followed him.

30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Iesus passed by, cried out, saying, Haue mercie on vs, O Lord, thou sonne of Dauid.

31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should holde their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Haue mercie on vs, O Lord, thou sonne of Dauid.

32 And Iesus stood still, and called them, and saide, What will yee that I shall doe vnto you?

33 They say vnto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.

34 So Iesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediatly their eyes receiued sight, and they followed him.

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Commentary for Matthew 20

The parable of the labourers in the vineyard. (1-16) Jesus again foretells his sufferings. (17-19) The ambition of James and John. (20-28) Jesus gives sight to two blind men near Jericho. (29-34)1-16 The direct object of this parable seems to be, to show that though the Jews were first called into the vineyard, at length the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles, and they should be admitted to equal privileges and advantages with the Jews. The parable may also be applied more generally, and shows, 1. That God is debtor to no man. 2. That many who begin last, and promise little in religion, sometimes, by the blessing of God, arrive at a great deal of knowledge, grace, and usefulness. 3. That the recompense of reward will be given to the saints, but not according to the time of their conversion. It describes the state of the visible church, and explains the declaration that the last shall be first, and the first last, in its various references. Till we are hired into the service of God, we are standing all the day idle: a sinful state, though a state of drudgery to Satan, may be called a state of idleness. The market-place is the world, and from that we are called by the gospel. Come, come from this market-place. Work for God will not admit of trifling. A man may go idle to hell, but he that will go to heaven, must be diligent. The Roman penny was sevenpence halfpenny in our money, wages then enough for the day's support. This does not prove that the reward of our obedience to God is of works, or of debt; when we have done all, we are unprofitable servants; but it signifies that there is a reward set before us, yet let none, upon this presumption, put off repentance till they are old. Some were sent into the vineyard at the eleventh hour; but nobody had hired them before. The Gentiles came in at the eleventh hour; the gospel had not been before preached to them. Those that have had gospel offers made them at the third or sixth hour, and have refused them, will not have to say at the eleventh hour, as these had, No man has hired us. Therefore, not to discourage any, but to awaken all, be it remembered, that now is the accepted time. The riches of Divine grace are loudly murmured at, among proud Pharisees and nominal Christians. There is great proneness in us to think that we have too little, and others too much of the tokens of God's favour; and that we do too much, and others too little in the work of God. But if God gives grace to others, it is kindness to them, and no injustice to us. Carnal worldlings agree with God for their penny in this world; and choose their portion in this life. Obedient believers agree with God for their penny in the other world, and must remember they have so agreed. Didst not thou agree to take up with heaven as thy portion, thy all; wilt thou seek for happiness in the creature? God punishes none more than they deserve, and recompenses every service done for him; he therefore does no wrong to any, by showing extraordinary grace to some. See here the nature of envy. It is an evil eye, which is displeased at the good of others, and desires their hurt. It is a grief to ourselves, displeasing to God, and hurtful to our neighbours: it is a sin that has neither pleasure, profit, nor honour. Let us forego every proud claim, and seek for salvation as a free gift. Let us never envy or grudge, but rejoice and praise God for his mercy to others as well as to ourselves.

17-19 Christ is more particular here in foretelling his sufferings than before. And here, as before, he adds the mention of his resurrection and his glory, to that of his death and sufferings, to encourage his disciples, and comfort them. A believing view of our once crucified and now glorified Redeemer, is good to humble a proud, self-justifying disposition. When we consider the need of the humiliation and sufferings of the Son of God, in order to the salvation of perishing sinners, surely we must be aware of the freeness and richness of Divine grace in our salvation.

20-28 The sons of Zebedee abused what Christ said to comfort the disciples. Some cannot have comforts but they turn them to a wrong purpose. Pride is a sin that most easily besets us; it is sinful ambition to outdo others in pomp and grandeur. To put down the vanity and ambition of their request, Christ leads them to the thoughts of their sufferings. It is a bitter cup that is to be drunk of; a cup of trembling, but not the cup of the wicked. It is but a cup, it is but a draught, bitter perhaps, but soon emptied; it is a cup in the hand of a Father, #Joh 18:11|. Baptism is an ordinance by which we are joined to the Lord in covenant and communion; and so is suffering for Christ, #Eze 20:37; Isa 48:10|. Baptism is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace; and so is suffering for Christ, for unto us it is given, #Php 1:29|. But they knew not what Christ's cup was, nor what his baptism. Those are commonly most confident, who are least acquainted with the cross. Nothing makes more mischief among brethren, than desire of greatness. And we never find Christ's disciples quarrelling, but something of this was at the bottom of it. That man who labours most diligently, and suffers most patiently, seeking to do good to his brethren, and to promote the salvation of souls, most resembles Christ, and will be most honoured by him to all eternity. Our Lord speaks of his death in the terms applied to the sacrifices of old. It is a sacrifice for the sins of men, and is that true and substantial sacrifice, which those of the law faintly and imperfectly represented. It was a ransom for many, enough for all, working upon many; and, if for many, then the poor trembling soul may say, Why not for me?

29-34 It is good for those under the same trial, or infirmity of body or mind, to join in prayer to God for relief, that they may quicken and encourage one another. There is mercy enough in Christ for all that ask. They were earnest in prayer. They cried out as men in earnest. Cold desires beg denials. They were humble in prayer, casting themselves upon, and referring themselves cheerfully to, the Mediator's mercy. They showed faith in prayer, by the title they gave to Christ. Surely it was by the Holy Ghost that they called Jesus, Lord. They persevered in prayer. When they were in pursuit of such mercy, it was no time for timidity or hesitation: they cried earnestly. Christ encouraged them. The wants and burdens of the body we are soon sensible of, and can readily relate. Oh that we did as feelingly complain of our spiritual maladies, especially our spiritual blindness! Many are spiritually blind, yet say they see. Jesus cured these blind men; and when they had received sight, they followed him. None follow Christ blindly. He first by his grace opens men's eyes, and so draws their hearts after him. These miracles are our call to Jesus; may we hear it, and make it our daily prayer to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Matthew 20

  • Chalizamudzi Elizabeth Matola
    God looks at all of us as equals. His reward will not depend on how long we have been Christians. Even new converts are valued and will receive the same eternal life as those who were converted long time ago
  • stanjett
    This is why He said some of the first shall be last and some of the last shall be first.
    Reply Flag
  • Obbie Beal
    verse 1-16 Jesus teach us more about the 'ways' of Jehovah GOD These 'way" of GOD' are already established predestined by and for GOD's glory and honor. My opinion, personal belief, ..., ..., DO NOT MATTER as it relates to those 'ways' of GOD example 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
  • I am that Michael Isaac Dale
    My Holy Father exposes all hypocrisy. Ye mock the Son of man before saying, My heart has already shown me where I will be, in darkness gnashing of teeth not dwelling in light. I will never give up nor stop loving God and Yeshua my savior. (Nay. For ye cannot love GOD except ye repent and confess the Son.) It is written, The LORD preserves ALL them that love him: but ALL the wicked will he destroy.
  • Bruce
    Rachael: That's All of Us, We All Need a Savior. 5yrs. Asking The Lord for Help, Forgiveness, l'm Convinced I can't be Saved. 2yrs. I didn't Talk to Him. Then He Told me I Need Salvation, Go Forward and Ask Forgiveness. It was a little Scary Stepping Out and Going Forward. Next Morning WOW. This is not The World I Went to Sleep in. A Heavy Gone. Cursing Gone, I Am Changed. I Told Everyone.
  • Allen
    Racheal, dont give up, satan seeks to destroy us, he is a liar and murderer. But Jesus has won the victory for us. Study your Bible , pray and seek God. Paul wrote I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. When Jesus is with us, nothing can stand against us. May God Bless and strengthen you with The Holy Spirit.
  • Rachael
    No matter how hard I try I covet and fail. I look and want, I m not honest, I m not modest nor meek or humble. I seek God and his son everyday but I fail in works. I know in my heart I m a rotten seed that deserves nothing and the beam in my eye is heavier then cement. My heart has already shown me where I will be, in darkness gnashing of teeth not dwelling in light. I will never give up nor stop loving God and Yeshua my savior. Please God give me a new heart and spirit with strength so I cannot fail you every moment of the day. Even when I dream I sin.

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