Jesus tells a story about ten young women
1 Jesus said, ‘I will tell you another story to show what the kingdom of heaven is like. There were ten young women who were going to a marriage party. They took their lamps with them and they went to meet the man who was marrying a wife. 2 Five of these young women were silly. The other five young women were wise. 3 The silly women took their lamps with them, but they did not take any extra oil with them. 4 The five wise women took their lamps as well as jars of oil. 5 The man who was marrying a wife did not come for a long time. So all the young women became tired, and they went to sleep.
6 In the middle of the night, someone shouted out, “The man is coming! Come out to meet him!”
7 The ten young women woke up. Then they prepared their lamps to make them work well. 8 The five silly young women said to the other five young women, “Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are not giving much light.” 9 The wise women replied, “If we did that, then there would not be enough oil for all of us. You must go instead to the people who sell oil. You must buy some oil for your own lamps.”
25:9The women had to cut off the cloth that had burned. Then the lamp would continue to burn. They also needed to put more oil in the lamp. The lamps used a lot of oil.
10 So these five women went to buy some oil. While they were away, the man arrived for the marriage party. The five wise women were ready. They went with him into the house for the party. Then the servants shut the door.
11 Later, the five silly women also came to the house. They said, “Sir, Sir, please open the door for us.” 12 But he replied, “I really do not know you.” ’
13 Then Jesus said to the people, ‘So you must watch carefully. You do not know on what day or at what time I will return.’
25:13The bridegroom is the man who will marry the woman. In this story Jesus is the bridegroom. We must be ready for him when he comes.
Jesus tells a story about three servants
14 Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is also like a man who began a journey. Before the master went away, he told his servants to come to him. He said to them, “Take care of all my money and all my things for me.” 15 The master gave one servant 5,000 gold coins. He gave another servant 2,000 gold coins, and to another servant he gave 1,000 gold coins. He gave to each servant what he would be able to use well. Then he went away on his journey.
25:15It was a lot of money that the master gave to his servants. The money was not a gift. The master wanted the servants to use the money. He wanted them to buy and sell things. He wanted them to use the money to get more money.
16 The servant who had received 5,000 gold coins went out immediately. He bought and sold things with the money. When he did this, he got 5,000 more gold coins. 17 The servant who had received 2,000 gold coins did the same thing. This servant got 2,000 more gold coins. 18 But the servant who had received only 1,000 gold coins did something different. He went outside and he dug a hole in the ground. He buried the money that his master had given him.
19 After a long time, the master came home. He asked the servants to come to him. He wanted to know how much money they had now. 20 The servant who had received 5,000 gold coins came to his master. The servant said, “Master, you gave me 5,000 gold coins. Now I have an extra 5,000 gold coins.”
21 The master said to this servant, “You are a good servant and you have done really well. You were careful with a small amount of money. Now I will give you authority over many more things. I am really happy about this and I want you to be happy with me.”
22 The servant who had received 2,000 gold coins also came to his master. The servant said, “Master, you gave me 2,000 gold coins. Now I have an extra 2,000 gold coins.”
23 The master said to this servant, “You are a good servant and you have done really well. You were careful with a small amount of money. Now I will give you authority over many more things. I am really happy about this and I want you to be happy with me.”
24 The servant who had received 1,000 gold coins then came to his master. The servant said, “Master, I know what you are like. You tell people what they should do all the time. You take food from fields where you did not put any seed in the ground. You get fruit from trees that you did not plant. 25 So, I was afraid of you. I went and I buried your gold coins in the ground. Look! Here it is. You can have your money back again.”
26 The master said to him, “You are a bad and lazy servant. You know what I am like, do you? I get food from fields where I did not put any seeds. I get fruit from trees that I did not plant. You knew all that. 27 So, you should have put the money into a bank. Then, when I came home, I could have received my money back from the bank, with extra money.”
28 Then the master said to his other servants, “Take the 1,000 gold coins from this bad servant. Give them to the man who now has 1,0000 coins. 29 Some people have received good things. They will all receive even more and have lots of good things. Some other people have nothing. Those people will lose even the little bit that they do have. 30 This servant cannot work for me any longer. Take him outside and throw him into a dark place. There, people will cry and they will bite their teeth together.” ’
25:30Jesus was telling people that God gives us gifts. So we must be careful how we use them. One day, he will ask us how we used those gifts.
25:30In the story, Jesus also tells the people that he is going away. And he tells them that he will return. Some people do not want Jesus to rule over them. They do not use what he has given them. One day, they will meet him. Jesus told them that he would punish them then.
God judges everybody
31 Jesus said, ‘One day I, the Son of Man, will return. Then people will see that I am great and powerful. All God's angels will come with me. I will sit on my great seat as king. 32 People from all the countries in the world will come together in front of me. I will put them into two groups. I will do it in the same way that a shepherd puts his sheep and goats into two groups. 33 He puts the sheep on his right side and the goats on his left side.
25:33The shepherd is the person who takes care of the sheep and goats. In the day, sheep and goats eat grass in the fields together. At night, the shepherd puts the goats inside so that they are warm. But he leaves the sheep in the fields. Jesus is using sheep and goats to explain about the kingdom of God. The sheep are like those people who obey God. And the goats are like those people who do not obey him.
34 The king will say to those people who are on his right side, “Come here. My Father has been good to you. He has prepared a place for you in his kingdom. That kingdom has been ready for you since the time that God made the world. 35 I was hungry and you gave me some food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me some water to drink. I was visiting your town and you asked me to stay in your home. 36 I did not have enough clothes and you gave me some clothes to wear. I was ill and you took care of me. I was in prison and you came to visit me there.”
37 Then the people on the right side will say to the king, “Master, when did we see that you were hungry and give you some food? When did we see that you were thirsty and we gave you some water to drink? 38 When did we ask you to stay in our home because you were alone? When did we give you some clothes to wear? 39 When did we take care of you because you were ill? When did we come to visit you in prison?”
40 The king will answer them, “I tell you this. You did all these things to help other people. They were not important people, but they were my friends. When you helped them, then you also helped me.”
41 Then the king will say to those people who are at his left side, “Go away from me. God has decided to punish you. He has prepared a fire that will burn for ever. He has prepared it for Satan and his servants. You will also go into that fire. 42 I was hungry but you did not give me any food to eat. I was thirsty but you did not give me anything to drink. 43 I visited your town but you did not ask me to stay in your home. I did not have enough clothes but you did not give me anything to wear. I was ill but you did not take care of me. I was in prison but you did not come to visit me.”
44 Then these other people will say, “Master, when did we see you and you were hungry, or you were thirsty? When did we see you alone or without clothes? When did we see you and you were ill, or in prison? When did you need our help and we did not help you?”
45 Then the king will reply, “Listen to this. You did not help people who are my friends. They were not important people. But when you did not help them, you also did not help me.”
46 Then those people on the king's left side will go away to the place where God will punish them for ever. But the good people on the king's right side will live for ever with God.’