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The Wise and Foolish Girls

25 ‘Then,’ continued Jesus, ‘the kingdom of heaven will be like ten girls who each took their own torches and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were silly, and five were sensible. The silly ones took their torches, but didn’t take oil with them. The sensible ones took oil, in flasks, along with their torches.

‘The bridegroom took his time coming, and they all nodded off and went to sleep. In the middle of the night a shout went up: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come on and meet him!” Then all the girls got up and trimmed the wicks of their torches.

‘The silly ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil! Our torches are going out!”

‘But the sensible ones answered, “No! If we do that, there won’t be enough for all of us together! You’d better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.”

10 ‘So off they went to buy oil. But, while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The ones who were ready went in with him to the wedding party, and the door was shut.

11 ‘Later on the other girls came back. “Master, Master!” they said, “open the door for us!”

12 ‘ “I’m telling you the truth,” he said, “I don’t know you.”

13 ‘So keep awake! You don’t know the day or the hour.’

The Parable of the Talents

14 ‘This is what it will be like,’ Jesus went on. ‘It will be like a man who was going off on a journey. He summoned his slaves, and handed over control of his property to them. 15 He gave five talents to the first, two to the next, and one to the last – each according to his ability. Then he left.

‘Straight away 16 the man who had been given the five talents went out and traded with them, and made five more. 17 Similarly, the one who had received two talents went and made another two. 18 But the one who received a single talent went and dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.

19 ‘After a long time, the master of those slaves came back and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five talents came forward and gave him the other five talents. “Master,” he said, “you gave me five talents. Look: I’ve made another five!” 21 “Well done indeed,” said his master. “You’re an excellent slave, and loyal too! You’ve been trustworthy with small things, and now I’m going to put you in charge of bigger ones. Come and join your master’s celebration!”

22 ‘Then the man who had had the two talents came forward. “Master,” he said, “you gave me two talents. Look: I’ve made another two!” 23 “Well done indeed,” said his master. “You’re an excellent slave, and loyal too! You’ve been trustworthy with small things, and now I’m going to put you in charge of bigger ones. Come and join your master’s celebration!”

24 ‘Then the man who had had the one talent came forward. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you were a hard man. You reap where you didn’t sow, and you profit from things you never invested in. 25 So I was scared! I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is: it’s yours, you can have it back.”

26 ‘ “You’re a wicked and lazy slave!” answered his master. “So! You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow, and profit from investments I never made? 27 Then you should have put my money with the bankers, and when I returned I would have received back what I had with interest!

28 ‘ “So take the talent from him,” he went on, “and give it to the man who has ten talents.” 29 (If someone already has something, you see, they will be given more, and they’ll have plenty. But if someone has nothing, even what they have will be taken away from them.) 30 “But as for this useless slave, throw him outside in the dark, where people weep and grind their teeth.” ’

The Sheep and the Goats

31 ‘When the son of man comes in his glory,’ Jesus went on, ‘and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be assembled in front of him, and he will separate them from one another, like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will stand the sheep at his right hand, and the goats at his left.

34 ‘Then the king will say to those on his right, “Come here, you people who my father has blessed. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world! 35 Why? Because 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 made me welcome. 36 I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you looked after me; I was in prison and you came to me.”

37 ‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Master, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and come to see you?”

40 ‘Then the king will answer them, “I’m telling you the truth: when you did it to one of the least significant of my brothers and sisters here, you did it to me.”

41 ‘Then he will say to those on his left hand, “Get away from me! You’re accursed! Go to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 Why? Because 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 welcome me; I was naked and you didn’t clothe me; I was sick and in prison and you didn’t look after me!”

44 ‘Then they too will answer, “Master, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t do anything for you?”

45 ‘Then he will answer them, “I’m telling you the truth: when you didn’t do it for one of the least significant of my brothers and sisters here, you didn’t do it for me.”

46 ‘And they will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous will go into everlasting 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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