Workers in a Vineyard
1 As Jesus was telling what the kingdom of heaven would be like, he said:
Early one morning a man went out to hire some workers for his vineyard.
2 After he had agreed to pay them the usual amount for a day's work, he sent them off to his vineyard.
3 About nine that morning, the man saw some other people standing in the market with nothing to do.
4 He said he would pay them what was fair, if they would work in his vineyard.
5 So they went.
At noon and again about three in the afternoon he returned to the market. And each time he made the same agreement with others who were loafing around with nothing to do.
6 Finally, about five in the afternoon the man went back and found some others standing there. He asked them, “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?”
7 “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. Then he told them to go work in his vineyard.
That evening the owner of the vineyard told the man in charge of the workers to call them in and give them their money. He also told the man to begin with the ones who were hired last.
When the workers arrived, the ones who had been hired at five in the afternoon were given a full day's pay.
10 The workers who had been hired first thought they would be given more than the others. But when they were given the same,
11 they began complaining to the owner of the vineyard.
12 They said, “The ones who were hired last worked for only one hour. But you paid them the same that you did us. And we worked in the hot sun all day long!”
13 The owner answered one of them, “Friend, I didn't cheat you. I paid you exactly what we agreed on.
14 Take your money now and go! What business is it of yours if I want to pay them the same that I paid you?
15 Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Why should you be jealous, if I want to be generous?”
Jesus then said, “So it is. Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.”