PARABLES OF JESUS
B. About Service and Obedience
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the
morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay
them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the
market-place doing nothing. He told them, 'You also go and work
in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they
went. He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did
the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found
still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been
standing here all day long doing nothing?' 'Because no-one has
hired us,' they answered. He said to them, 'You also go and work in my
vineyard.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to
his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with
the last ones hired and going on to the first.' The workers who
were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a
denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected
to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.
When they received it, they began to grumble against the
landowner. 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,'
they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the
burden of the work and the heat of the day.' But he answered one
of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to
work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man
who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right
to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am
generous?' So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
The Parable of the Talents
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his
servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five
talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent,
each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The
man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to
work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents
gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went
off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a
long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts
The man who had received the five talents brought the other five.
'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have
gained five more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and
faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put
you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's
happiness!' The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he
said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two
more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of
many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Then the
man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew
that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and
gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went
out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to
you.' His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I
have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money
on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have
received it back with interest. 'Take the talent from him and
give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has
will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not
have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that
worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth.'