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Matthew 25

25
The Story of Ten Bridesmaids
1“This is what the kingdom of heaven will be like at that time. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went outside the bride’s house to wait for the groom to come and get her. 2Five of the bridesmaids were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps, but they didn’t take any olive oil with them. 4The wise ones brought oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The groom was expected that evening, but when he didn’t come for a long time, all the bridesmaids grew tired and fell asleep.
6“At midnight someone cried out, ‘The groom is coming! Go out and meet him!’
7“Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready. 8The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’
9“ ‘No,’ they answered, ‘because there might not be enough for all of us. Go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10“So they went off to buy oil, and while they were away, the groom arrived. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with him to the wedding dinner. Then the door was shut.
11“When the other bridesmaids got back, they called out, ‘Master! Master! Open the door for us!’
12“But the groom replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13“So keep watch. You don’t know the day or the hour when the groom will arrive.
The Story of Three Slaves
14“Again, here is what the kingdom of heaven will be like. A man was going on a journey. He sent for his slaves and put them in charge of his money. The man gave each slave an amount of money he knew the slave could manage. 15He gave five bags of gold to one, two bags to another, and one bag to a third. Then he left on his journey. 16The slave who’d received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work. He earned five more bags. 17The one with the two bags of gold earned two more. 18But the man who’d received one bag went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it.
19“After a long time, the master of those slaves returned. He wanted to see how the slaves had managed his money. 20The man who’d received five bags of gold brought in the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you trusted me with five bags of gold. See, I’ve earned five more.’
21“His master replied, ‘You’ve done well, good and faithful slave! Because you’ve been faithful with a few things, I’m going to put you in charge of many things. Come, share your master’s happiness!’
22“The man with two bags of gold came next. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you trusted me with two bags of gold. See, I’ve earned two more.’
23“His master replied, ‘You’ve done well, good and faithful slave! Because you’ve been faithful with a few things, I’m going to put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24“Then the man who’d received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you were a hard man. You harvest where you haven’t planted, and you gather crops where you haven’t scattered seed. 25So I was afraid, and I went and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26“His master replied, ‘You bad, lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I haven’t planted and that I gather crops where I haven’t scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money in the bank, so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest.’
28“Then his master commanded the other slaves, ‘Take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29Everyone who has will be given more, and they will have more than enough. But as for those who don’t have, even what they do have will be taken away from them. 30Then throw that worthless slave outside into the darkness, where people will weep and grind their teeth.’
The Sheep and the Goats
31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels come with him, he will sit on his glorious throne 32and all the nations will be gathered in front of him. He will separate the people into two groups, the way a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He’ll put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34“Then the King will speak to those on his right and say, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take what is yours. Receive the kingdom that has been prepared for you since the world was created. 35When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me; 36I needed clothes, and you gave some to me. I was sick, and you took care of me; I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’
37“Then the people who did what was right will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we welcome you when you were a stranger? When did we see that you needed clothes and give some to you? 39When did we see that you were sick or in prison and come 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.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Go away from me, you who are cursed, into the fire that burns forever that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! 42I was hungry, but you didn’t give me anything to eat. I was thirsty, but you didn’t give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger, but you didn’t welcome me. I needed clothes, but you didn’t give me any. I was sick and in prison, but you didn’t take care of me.’
44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and not help you? When did we see that you were a stranger, or that you needed clothes, or that you were sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you failed to do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you failed to do for me.’
46“Then they will go away to be punished forever, but those who did what was right will receive eternal life.”
25
A Story About Ten Bridesmaids
1“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to wait for the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The five foolish bridesmaids took their lamps, but they did not take more oil for the lamps to burn. 4The wise bridesmaids took their lamps and more oil in jars. 5Because the bridegroom was late, they became sleepy and went to sleep.
6“At midnight someone cried out, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come and meet him!’ 7Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready. 8But the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9The wise bridesmaids answered, ‘No, the oil we have might not be enough for all of us. Go to the people who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10“So while the five foolish bridesmaids went to buy oil, the bridegroom came. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked.
11“Later the others came back and said, ‘Sir, sir, open the door to let us in.’ 12But the bridegroom answered, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t want to know you.’
13“So always be ready, because you don’t know the day or the hour the Son of Man will come.
A Story About Three Servants
14“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was going to another place for a visit. Before he left, he called for his servants and told them to take care of his things while he was gone. 15He gave one servant five bags of gold, another servant two bags of gold, and a third servant one bag of gold, to each one as much as he could handle. Then he left. 16The servant who got five bags went quickly to invest the money and earned five more bags. 17In the same way, the servant who had two bags invested them and earned two more. 18But the servant who got one bag went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
19“After a long time the master came home and asked the servants what they did with his money. 20The servant who was given five bags of gold brought five more bags to the master and said, ‘Master, you trusted me to care for five bags of gold, so I used your five bags to earn five more.’ 21The master answered, ‘You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.’
22“Then the servant who had been given two bags of gold came to the master and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of gold to care for, so I used your two bags to earn two more.’ 23The master answered, ‘You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.’
24“Then the servant who had been given one bag of gold came to the master and said, ‘Master, I knew that you were a hard man. You harvest things you did not plant. You gather crops where you did not sow any seed. 25So I was afraid and went and hid your money in the ground. Here is your bag of gold.’ 26The master answered, ‘You are a wicked and lazy servant! You say you knew that I harvest things I did not plant and that I gather crops where I did not sow any seed. 27So you should have put my gold in the bank. Then, when I came home, I would have received my gold back with interest.’
28“So the master told his other servants, ‘Take the bag of gold from that servant and give it to the servant who has ten bags of gold. 29Those who have much will get more, and they will have much more than they need. But those who do not have much will have everything taken away from them.’ 30Then the master said, ‘Throw that useless servant outside, into the darkness where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’
The King Will Judge All People
31“The Son of Man will come again in his great glory, with all his angels. He will be King and sit on his great throne. 32All the nations of the world will be gathered before him, and he will separate them into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33The Son of Man will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34“Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, my Father has given you his blessing. Receive the kingdom God has prepared for you since the world was made. 35I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. 36I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37“Then the good people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’
40“Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.’
41“Then the King will say to those on his left, ‘Go away from me. You will be punished. Go into the fire that burns forever that was prepared for the devil and his angels. 42I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43I was alone and away from home, and you did not invite me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me nothing to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
44“Then those people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or alone and away from home or without clothes or sick or in prison? When did we see these things and not help you?’
45“Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you refused to do for even the least of my people here, you refused to do for me.’
46“These people will go off to be punished forever, but the good people will go to live forever.”