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A Story about Ten Bridesmaids

25 “When the end comes, the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids. They took their oil lamps and went to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The foolish bridesmaids took their lamps, but they didn’t take any extra oil. The wise bridesmaids, however, took along extra oil for their lamps. Since the groom was late, all the bridesmaids became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight someone shouted, ‘The groom is here! Come to meet him!’ Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready.

“The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out.’

“But the wise bridesmaids replied, ‘We can’t do that. There won’t be enough for both of us. Go! Find someone to sell you some oil.’

10 “While they were buying oil, the groom arrived. The bridesmaids who were ready went with him into the wedding hall, and the door was shut.

11 “Later the other bridesmaids arrived and said, ‘Sir, sir, open the door for us!’

12 “But he answered them, ‘I don’t even know who you are!’

13 “So stay awake, because you don’t know the day or the hour.

A Story about Three Servants

14 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man going on a trip. He called his servants and entrusted some money to them. 15 He gave one man ten thousand dollars, another four thousand dollars, and another two thousand dollars. Each was given money based on his ability. Then the man went on his trip.

16 “The one who received ten thousand dollars invested the money at once and doubled his money. 17 The one who had four thousand dollars did the same and also doubled his money. 18 But the one who received two thousand dollars went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who received ten thousand dollars brought the additional ten thousand. He said, ‘Sir, you gave me ten thousand dollars. I’ve doubled the amount.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Good job! You’re a good and faithful servant! You proved that you could be trusted with a small amount. I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and share your master’s happiness.’

22 “The one who received four thousand dollars came and said, ‘Sir, you gave me four thousand dollars. I’ve doubled the amount.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Good job! You’re a good and faithful servant! You proved that you could be trusted with a small amount. I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and share your master’s happiness.’

24 “Then the one who received two thousand dollars came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you are a hard person to please. You harvest where you haven’t planted and gather where you haven’t scattered any seeds. 25 I was afraid. So I hid your two thousand dollars in the ground. Here’s your money!’

26 “His master responded, ‘You evil and lazy servant! If you knew that I harvest where I haven’t planted and gather where I haven’t scattered, 27 then you should have invested my money with the bankers. When I returned, I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Take the two thousand dollars away from him! Give it to the one who has the ten thousand! 29 To all who have, more will be given, and they will have more than enough. But everything will be taken away from those who don’t have much. 30 Throw this useless servant outside into the darkness. People will cry and be in extreme pain there.’

Jesus Will Judge the World

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left.

34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. 36 I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then the people who have God’s approval will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.’

41 “Then the king will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn’t give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t take care of me.’

44 “They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?’

45 “He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.’

46 “These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life.”

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like(A) ten virgins who took their lamps(B) and went out to meet the bridegroom.(C) Five of them were foolish and five were wise.(D) The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.(E)

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’(F)

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet.(G) And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’(H)

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.(I)

The Parable of the Bags of Gold(J)

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey,(K) who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability.(L) Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.(M) 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “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.(N) Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “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.(O) Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold 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. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “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? 27 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.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.(P) 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’(Q)

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes(R) in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.(S) 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate(T) the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.(U) 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom(V) prepared for you since the creation of the world.(W) 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,(X) 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me,(Y) I was sick and you looked after me,(Z) I was in prison and you came to visit me.’(AA)

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’(AB)

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me,(AC) you who are cursed, into the eternal fire(AD) prepared for the devil and his angels.(AE) 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’(AF)

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.(AG)(AH)

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 25:15 Greek five talents … two talents … one talent; also throughout this parable; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage.

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