MATTHEW 20:1-16 PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD WORKERS
1. ``For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2. ``When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3. ``And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4. and to those he said, `You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' And so they went. 5. ``Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. 6. ``And 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?' 7. ``They 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.' 9. ``When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10. ``When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11. ``When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12. saying, `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.' 13. ``But he answered and said to one of them, `Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14. `Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15. `Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?' 16. ``So the last shall be first, and the first last."
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