Parable of Ten Virgins
1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went to 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 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].
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.”