“Then Heaven’s Empire can be compared to ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the groom. 2Now, five of them were fools and five were wise. 3The fools took their lamps, but didn’t take any oil. 4The wise ones took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As they waited for the groom, they became tired and fell asleep. 6Then in the middle of the night there was a shout, ‘Look! It’s the groom! Come out and meet him! 7Then the bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil because our lamps have gone out.’ 9The wise ones said, ‘No. There won’t be enough for all of us. Go to the store and buy some more for yourselves.’ 10When they left to buy more oil, the groom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding and the door was closed. 11Later the other bridesmaids came and said, ‘Master, master, let us in.’ 12But he said, ‘Yes I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13So, stay awake because y’all don’t know the day or the hour.
14“It’s like this, a man called all his slaves together before he went on a trip and put them in charge of all his possessions. 15He gave one slave five talants, two talants to another, and one talant to another, each according to his abilities. And then he left on his trip. 16As soon as he left, the slave that got five talants went and invested them and made another five. 17In the same way, the one who got two talants made another two. 18But the one that got one talant went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s silver. 19After a long time, the master came back and settled accounts with his slaves. 20The slave who got five talants came and brought the other five talants and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talants, and look, I’ve earned another five talants!’ 21The master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustful slave! You were faithful in a few things. I’ll put you in charge of many things. Come into the joy of your master!’ 22Then the slave that was given two talants came and said, ‘Master, you gave two talants to me, and look, I’ve earned two more!’ 23The master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustful slave! You have been faithful in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come into the joy of your master!’ 24Then the one that got one talant came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you’re a hard man, harvesting where you haven’t sowed and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and I went off and hid your money in the ground. Look, you have what’s yours.’ 26The master said, ‘You evil and troublesome slave! You knew that I harvest where I haven’t sowed, and gather where I haven’t scattered seed? 27You should’ve at least put my money in the bank so that when I came back I could get back my money plus interest. 28Take the talant from him and give it to the one with ten talants.’ 29Because for those who have a lot, more will be given and he’ll have an abundance. But for those who have little, what they have will be taken from them. 30The unneeded slave will be thrown into the outermost darkness, where there’ll be crying and grinding of teeth.
31“When the Son of Man comes in His splendor and all the angels with Him, He’ll sit on His throne of glory. 32All the nations will be brought together before Him, He’ll separate the people like the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and He’ll put the sheep to His right and the goats to the left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom that’s been prepared for you since the foundation of the world. 35I was hungry and you gave Me food to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me water to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, 36naked and you clothed Me, I was weak and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me. 37Then the right ones will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and fed You, or thirsty and gave You water? 38When did we see You as a stranger and brought You in, or naked and clothed You? 39When did we see You weak or in prison and helped You? 40And the King will answer them, ‘Yes I tell you all, what y’all did for the least of My brothers, you did for Me. 41Then He’ll say to the ones on his left, ‘Get away from Me you damned people! Go into the fire prepared for the devil and his demons! 42Because I was hungry and you didn’t give Me anything to eat, I was thirsty and you didn’t give Me anything to drink, 43I was a stranger and you didn’t take Me in, naked and you didn’t clothe Me, weak and in prison and you didn’t take care of Me.’ 44They’ll answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or weak or in prison and didn’t serve You?’ 45Then he’ll say, ‘Yes, I tell y’all, just as you didn’t do it for the least of these, you didn’t do it for Me.’ 46And those will go off into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
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