PARABLES OF JESUS
III. Parables of Judgment and the Future
A. About Christ's Return
1. The Parable of the Ten Virgins
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten
virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the
bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The
foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with
them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their
lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all
became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out:
'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all the
virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to
the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you.
Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom
arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding
banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. 'Sir!
Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' But he replied, 'I tell
you the truth, I don't know you.'
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
2. The Wise and Faithful Servants
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master
has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their
food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose
master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth,
he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose
that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away
a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow-servants and to eat
and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day
when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will
cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
3. The travelling Owner of the House
It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts
his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one
at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know
when the owner of the house will come back - whether in the evening, or
at midnight, or when the cock crows, or at dawn. If he comes
suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to