26th Jan 2014 by Ben Grizzle in Vision & Values
1“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a man who went out early in the morning to hire some men to work in his vineyard.2He agreed to pay them the regular wage, a silver coin a day, and sent them to work in his vineyard.3He went out again to the marketplace at nine o'clock and saw some men standing there doing nothing,4so he told them, ‘You also go and work in the vineyard, and I will pay you a fair wage.’5So they went. Then at twelve o'clock and again at three o'clock he did the same thing.6It was nearly five o'clock when he went to the marketplace and saw some other men still standing there. ‘Why are you wasting the whole day here doing nothing?’ he asked them.7‘No one hired us,’ they answered. ‘Well, then, you go and work in the vineyard,’ he told them.
8 “When evening came, the owner told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ending with those who were hired first.’9The men who had begun to work at five o'clock were paid a silver coin each.10So when the men who were the first to be hired came to be paid, they thought they would get more; but they too were given a silver coin each.11They took their money and started grumbling against the employer.12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘while we put up with a whole day's work in the hot sun—yet you paid them the same as you paid us!’13‘Listen, friend,’ the owner answered one of them, ‘I have not cheated you. After all, you agreed to do a day's work for one silver coin.14Now take your pay and go home. I want to give this man who was hired last as much as I gave you.15Don't I have the right to do as I wish with my own money? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’”
16 And Jesus concluded, “So those who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last.”
8Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid.9Do not carry any gold, silver, or copper money in your pockets;10 do not carry a beggar's bag for the trip or an extra shirt or shoes or a walking stick. Workers should be given what they need.
11“When you come to a town or village, go in and look for someone who is willing to welcome you, and stay with him until you leave that place.12When you go into a house, say, ‘Peace be with you.’13If the people in that house welcome you, let your greeting of peace remain; but if they do not welcome you, then take back your greeting.14 And if some home or town will not welcome you or listen to you, then leave that place and shake the dust off your feet.15 I assure you that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah than to the people of that town!
16 “Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves.17 Watch out, for there will be those who will arrest you and take you to court, and they will whip you in the synagogues.18For my sake you will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to tell the Good News to them and to the Gentiles.19When they bring you to trial, do not worry about what you are going to say or how you will say it; when the time comes, you will be given what you will say.20For the words you will speak will not be yours; they will come from the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 “People will hand over their own brothers to be put to death, and fathers will do the same to their children; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death.22 Everyone will hate you because of me. But whoever holds out to the end will be saved.23When they persecute you in one town, run away to another one. I assure you that you will not finish your work in all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24 “No pupil is greater than his teacher; no slave is greater than his master.25 So a pupil should be satisfied to become like his teacher, and a slave like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul, the members of the family will be called even worse names!
26 “So do not be afraid of people. Whatever is now covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known.27What I am telling you in the dark you must repeat in broad daylight, and what you have heard in private you must announce from the housetops.28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell.29For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father's consent.30As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted.31So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!
32“Those who declare publicly that they belong to me, I will do the same for them before my Father in heaven.33 But those who reject me publicly, I will reject before my Father in heaven.
34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.35 I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law;36your worst enemies will be the members of your own family.
37“Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples; those who love their son or daughter more than me are not fit to be my disciples.38 Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples.39 Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.