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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
Parable of Ten Virgins
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went to # In a procession, the bridegroom and his friends brought the bride from her father’s house to his house where the wedding feast was prepared. meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish [thoughtless, silly, and careless], and five were wise [far-sighted, practical, and sensible]. 3For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them, 4but the wise took flasks of oil along with their lamps. 5Now while the bridegroom was delayed, they all began to nod off, and they fell asleep. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! The bridegroom [is coming]! Go out to meet him.’ 7Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order [trimmed the wicks and added oil and lit them]. 8But the foolish virgins said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No, otherwise there will not be enough for us and for you, too; go instead to the dealers and buy oil for yourselves.’ 10But while they were going away to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut and locked. 11Later the others also came, and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open [the door] for us.’ 12But He replied, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I do not know you [we have no relationship].’ 13Therefore, be on the alert [be prepared and ready], for you do not know the day nor the hour [when the Son of Man will come].
Parable of the Talents
14 “For it is just like a man who was about to take a journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his possessions. 15To one he gave five #A talent was a measurement of weight, usually 58-80 pounds. One talent of silver was worth more than 15 years’ wages. One talent of gold was worth even more.talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and then he went on his journey. 16The one who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he [made a profit and] gained five more. 17Likewise the one who had two [made a profit and] gained two more. 18But the one who had received the one went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20And the one who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted to me five talents. See, I have [made a profit and] gained five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’
22 “Also the one who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have [made a profit and] gained two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’
24 “The one who had received one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a harsh and demanding man, reaping [the harvest] where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter seed. 25So I was afraid [to lose the talent], and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is your own.’
26 “But his master answered him, ‘You wicked, lazy servant, you knew that I reap [the harvest] where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter seed. 27Then you ought to have put my money with the bankers, and at my return I would have received my money back with interest. 28So take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
29 “For to everyone who has [and values his blessings and gifts from God, and has used them wisely], more will be given, and [he will be richly supplied so that] he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [because he has ignored or disregarded his blessings and gifts from God], even what he does have will be taken away. 30And throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place [of grief and torment] there will be weeping [over sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [over distress and anger].
The Judgment
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory and majesty and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before Him [for judgment]; and He will separate them from one another, as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats; 33and He will put the sheep on His right [the place of honor], and the goats on His left [the place of rejection].
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God, appointed to eternal salvation], inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For 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; 36I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me [with help and ministering care]; I was in prison, and you came to Me [ignoring personal danger].’ 37Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40The King will answer and say to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it for Me.’
41 “Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Leave Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels (demons); 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me [with help and ministering care].’ 44Then they also [in their turn] will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45Then He will reply to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did not do it for one of the least of these [my followers], you did not do it for Me.’ 46Then these [unbelieving people] will go away into eternal (unending) punishment, but those who are righteous and in right standing with God [will go, by His remarkable grace] into eternal (unending) life.”