25Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids* took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.* 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. 7Then all those bridesmaids* got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. 9But the wise replied, No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves. 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids* came also, saying, Lord, lord, open to us. 12But he replied, Truly I tell you, I do not know you. 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.*
14 For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents,* to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his masters money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents. 21His master said to him, Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master. 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents. 23His master said to him, Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master. 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours. 26But his master replied, You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
37Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?
39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?
40And the king will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.
41Then he will say to those at his left hand, You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.
44Then they also will answer, Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?
45Then he will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.
46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
10 February 2011