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Matthew 20 Commentary

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Matthew 20:1-7 meaning

Jesus tells the first half of the parable of the Vineyard laborers. He describes how the landowner continually goes out throughout the day to hire workers to help harvest. This is a parable about the kingdom of heaven that shows His disciples that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. This parable makes it clear that it is never too late to begin living faithfully. God will give great rewards to some people who come to understanding much later in life.

Matthew 20:8-16 meaning

Jesus finishes the second half of the parable of the Vineyard laborers. He describes how the landowner generously pays the late arriving workers a denarius, but when he pays the agreed upon denarius to the full-day workers, they are envious and bitter. Jesus reminds the disciples that the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

Matthew 20:17-19 meaning

As Jesus and His disciples are about to go to Jerusalem, He pulls them aside to remind them about His arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection which will take place soon after they arrive.

Matthew 20:20-23 meaning

The mother of James and John approaches Jesus with a special favor for her sons. She asks that He grant them the place of honor on His right and left when He is in His kingdom. Jesus tells her and her sons that they don't know what they are asking for and asks if they are prepared to drink the cup. They say they are able. He tells them that they will drink the cup but it is Jesus's Father who will determine where people sit in the Kingdom.

Matthew 20:24-28 meaning

The disciples become upset and embittered at James and John for getting their mother to ask Jesus to give them what they wanted for themselves. Jesus takes this occasion to remind all His disciples that greatness in His kingdom is not lording it over others. It is serving them as the Messiah came to serve — even unto death.

Matthew 20:29-34 meaning

Jesus encounters two blind men at Jericho as He passes through the town on His way to Jerusalem. The blind men call Him the Son of David. He invites them to come to Him and asks them what they want from Him. When they answer that they want to see, Jesus is moved with compassion and opens their eyes.