Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 109

Matthew 20–25

Bible text(s)

The Workers in the Vineyard

1“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a man who went out early in the morning to hire some men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them the regular wage, a silver coin a day, and sent them to work in his vineyard. 3He went out again to the market place at nine o'clock and saw some men standing there doing nothing, 4so he told them, ‘You also go and work in the vineyard, and I will pay you a fair wage.’ 5So they went. Then at twelve o'clock and again at three o'clock he did the same thing. 6It was nearly five o'clock when he went to the market place and saw some other men still standing there. ‘Why are you wasting the whole day here doing nothing?’ he asked them. 7‘No one hired us,’ they answered. ‘Well, then, you also go and work in the vineyard,’ he told them.

8“When evening came, the owner told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ending with those who were hired first.’ 9The men who had begun to work at five o'clock were paid a silver coin each. 10So when the men who were the first to be hired came to be paid, they thought they would get more; but they too were given a silver coin each. 11They took their money and started grumbling against the employer. 12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘while we put up with a whole day's work in the hot sun — yet you paid them the same as you paid us!’

13“ ‘Listen, friend,’ the owner answered one of them, ‘I have not cheated you. After all, you agreed to do a day's work for one silver coin. 14Now take your pay and go home. I want to give this man who was hired last as much as I have given you. 15Don't I have the right to do as I wish with my own money? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’ ”

16And Jesus concluded, “So those who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last.”

Jesus Speaks a Third Time about his Death

(Mk 10.32–34; Lk 18.31–34)

17As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and spoke to them privately, as they walked along. 18“Listen,” he told them, “we are going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn him to death 19and then hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him, whip him, and crucify him; but three days later he will be raised to life.”

A Mother's Request

(Mk 10.35–45)

20Then the wife of Zebedee came to Jesus with her two sons, bowed before him, and asked him a favour.

21“What do you want?” Jesus asked her.

She answered, “Promise me that these two sons of mine will sit at your right and your left when you are King.”

22“You don't know what you are asking for,” Jesus answered the sons. “Can you drink the cup of suffering that I am about to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

23“You will indeed drink from my cup,” Jesus told them, “but I do not have the right to choose who will sit at my right and my left. These places belong to those for whom my Father has prepared them.”

24When the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with the two brothers. 25So Jesus called them all together and said, “You know that the rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. 26This, however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; 27and if one of you wants to be first, he must be your slave — 28like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

(Mk 10.46–52; Lk 18.35–43)

29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd was following. 30Two blind men who were sitting by the road heard that Jesus was passing by, so they began to shout, “Son of David! Take pity on us, sir!”

31The crowd scolded them and told them to be quiet. But they shouted even more loudly, “Son of David! Take pity on us, sir!”

32Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them.

33“Sir,” they answered, “we want you to give us our sight!”

34Jesus had pity on them and touched their eyes; at once they were able to see, and they followed him.

Matthew 20GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem

(Mk 11.1–11; Lk 19.28–40; Jn 12.12–19)

1As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two of the disciples on ahead 2with these instructions: “Go to the village there ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied up with her colt beside her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3And if anyone says anything, tell him, ‘The Master needs them’; and then he will let them go at once.”

4This happened in order to make what the prophet had said come true:

5“Tell the city of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you!

He is humble and rides on a donkey

and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

6So the disciples went and did what Jesus had told them to do: 7they brought the donkey and the colt, threw their cloaks over them, and Jesus got on. 8A large crowd of people spread their cloaks on the road while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds walking in front of Jesus and those walking behind began to shout, “Praise to David's Son! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God!”

10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was thrown into an uproar. “Who is he?” the people asked.

11“This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee,” the crowds answered.

Jesus Goes to the Temple

(Mk 11.15–19; Lk 19.45–48; Jn 2.13–22)

12Jesus went into the Temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, 13and said to them, “It is written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it a hideout for thieves!”

14The blind and the crippled came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. 15The chief priests and the teachers of the Law became angry when they saw the wonderful things he was doing and the children shouting in the Temple, “Praise to David's Son!” 16So they asked Jesus, “Do you hear what they are saying?”

“Indeed I do,” answered Jesus. “Haven't you ever read this scripture? ‘You have trained children and babies to offer perfect praise.’ ”

17Jesus left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

(Mk 11.12–14, 20–24)

18On his way back to the city early next morning, Jesus was hungry. 19He saw a fig tree by the side of the road and went to it, but found nothing on it except leaves. So he said to the tree, “You will never again bear fruit!” At once the fig tree dried up.

20The disciples saw this and were astounded. “How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?” they asked.

21Jesus answered, “I assure you that if you believe and do not doubt, you will be able to do what I have done to this fig tree. And not only this, but you will even be able to say to this hill, ‘Get up and throw yourself in the sea,’ and it will. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

The Question about Jesus' Authority

(Mk 11.27–33; Lk 20.1–8)

23Jesus came back to the Temple; and as he taught, the chief priests and the elders came to him and asked, “What right have you to do these things? Who gave you this right?”

24Jesus answered them, “I will ask you just one question, and if you give me an answer, I will tell you what right I have to do these things. 25Where did John's right to baptize come from: was it from God or from human beings?”

They started to argue among themselves, “What shall we say? If we answer, ‘From God,’ he will say to us, ‘Why, then, did you not believe John?’ 26But if we say, ‘From human beings,’ we are afraid of what the people might do, because they are all convinced that John was a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We don't know.”

And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you, then, by what right I do these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28“Now, what do you think? There was once a man who had two sons. He went to the elder one and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29‘I don't want to,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. ‘Yes, sir,’ he answered, but he did not go. 31Which one of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The elder one,” they answered.

So Jesus said to them, “I tell you: the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John the Baptist came to you showing you the right path to take, and you would not believe him; but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard

(Mk 12.1–12; Lk 20.9–19)

33“Listen to another parable,” Jesus said. “There was once a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he let out the vineyard to tenants and went on a journey. 34When the time came to gather the grapes, he sent his slaves to the tenants to receive his share of the harvest. 35The tenants seized his slaves, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again the man sent other slaves, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37Last of all he sent his son to them. ‘Surely they will respect my son,’ he said. 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the owner's son. Come on, let's kill him, and we will get his property!’ 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

40“Now, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” Jesus asked.

41“He will certainly kill those evil men,” they answered, “and let the vineyard out to other tenants, who will give him his share of the harvest at the right time.”

42Jesus said to them, “Haven't you ever read what the Scriptures say?

‘The stone which the builders rejected as worthless

turned out to be the most important of all.

This was done by the Lord;

what a wonderful sight it is!’

43“And so I tell you,” added Jesus, “the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce the proper fruits.”

45The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables and knew that he was talking about them, 46so they tried to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.

Matthew 21GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

(Lk 14.15–24)

1Jesus again used parables in talking to the people. 2“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. 3He sent his servants to tell the invited guests to come to the feast, but they did not want to come. 4So he sent other servants with this message for the guests: ‘My feast is ready now; my bullocks and prize calves have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!’ 5But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their business: one went to his farm, another to his shop, 6while others grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. 7The king was very angry; so he sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burnt down their city. 8Then he called his servants and said to them, ‘My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it. 9Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find.’ 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, good and bad alike; and the wedding hall was filled with people.

11“The king went in to look at the guests and saw a man who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ the king asked him. But the man said nothing. 13Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark. There he will cry and grind his teeth.’ ”

14And Jesus concluded, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

The Question about Paying Taxes

(Mk 12.13–17; Lk 20.20–26)

15The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. 16Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod's party. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God's will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone's status. 17Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?”

18Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19Show me the coin for paying the tax!”

They brought him the coin, 20and he asked them, “Whose face and name are these?”

21“The Emperor's,” they answered.

So Jesus said to them, “Well, then, pay the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay God what belongs to God.”

22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

The Question about Rising from Death

(Mk 12.18–27; Lk 20.27–40)

23That same day some Sadducees came to Jesus and claimed that people will not rise from death. 24“Teacher,” they said, “Moses said that if a man who has no children dies, his brother must marry the widow so that they can have children who will be considered the dead man's children. 25Now, there were seven brothers who used to live here. The eldest got married and died without having children, so he left his widow to his brother. 26The same thing happened to the second brother, to the third, and finally to all seven. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28Now, on the day when the dead rise to life, whose wife will she be? All of them had married her.”

29Jesus answered them, “How wrong you are! It is because you don't know the Scriptures or God's power. 30For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry. 31Now, as for the dead rising to life: haven't you ever read what God has told you? He said, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is the God of the living, not of the dead.”

33When the crowds heard this, they were amazed at his teaching.

The Great Commandment

(Mk 12.28–34; Lk 10.25–28)

34When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together, 35and one of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to trap him with a question. 36“Teacher,” he asked, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37Jesus answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the greatest and the most important commandment. 39The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ 40The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

The Question about the Messiah

(Mk 12.35–37; Lk 20.41–44)

41When some Pharisees gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose descendant is he?”

“He is David's descendant,” they answered.

43“Why, then,” Jesus asked, “did the Spirit inspire David to call him ‘Lord’? David said,

44‘The Lord said to my Lord:

Sit here on my right

until I put your enemies under your feet.’

45If, then, David called him ‘Lord’, how can the Messiah be David's descendant?”

46No one was able to give Jesus any answer, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Matthew 22GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus Warns against the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees

(Mk 12.38–39; Lk 11.43, 46; 20.45–46)

1Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. 2“The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees are the authorized interpreters of Moses' Law. 3So you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do; do not, however, imitate their actions, because they don't practise what they preach. 4They tie on to people's backs loads that are heavy and hard to carry, yet they aren't willing even to lift a finger to help them carry those loads. 5They do everything so that people will see them. Look at the straps with scripture verses on them which they wear on their foreheads and arms, and notice how large they are! Notice also how long are the tassels on their cloaks! 6They love the best places at feasts and the reserved seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted with respect in the market places and to be called ‘Teacher’. 8You must not be called ‘Teacher’, because you are all members of one family and have only one Teacher. 9And you must not call anyone here on earth ‘Father’, because you have only the one Father in heaven. 10Nor should you be called ‘Leader’, because your one and only leader is the Messiah. 11The greatest one among you must be your servant. 12Whoever makes himself great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be made great.

Jesus Condemns their Hypocrisy

(Mk 12.40; Lk 11.39–42, 44, 52; 20.47)

13“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You lock the door to the Kingdom of heaven in people's faces, and you yourselves don't go in, nor do you allow in those who are trying to enter!

15“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; and when you succeed, you make him twice as deserving of going to hell as you yourselves are!

16“How terrible for you, blind guides! You teach, ‘If someone swears by the Temple, he isn't bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.’ 17Blind fools! Which is more important, the gold or the Temple which makes the gold holy? 18You also teach, ‘If someone swears by the altar, he isn't bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gift on the altar, he is bound.’ 19How blind you are! Which is the more important, the gift or the altar which makes the gift holy? 20So then, when a person swears by the altar, he is swearing by it and by all the gifts on it; 21and when he swears by the Temple, he is swearing by it and by God, who lives there; 22and when someone swears by heaven, he is swearing by God's throne and by him who sits on it.

23“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You give to God a tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill, and cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the Law, such as justice and mercy and honesty. These you should practise, without neglecting the others. 24Blind guides! You strain a fly out of your drink, but swallow a camel!

25“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You clean the outside of your cup and plate, while the inside is full of what you have obtained by violence and selfishness. 26Blind Pharisee! Clean what is inside the cup first, and then the outside will be clean too!

27“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear good to everybody, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins.

Jesus Predicts their Punishment

(Lk 11.47–51)

29“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You make fine tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of those who lived good lives; 30and you claim that if you had lived during the time of your ancestors, you would not have done what they did and killed the prophets. 31So you actually admit that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets! 32Go on, then, and finish what your ancestors started! 33You snakes and children of snakes! How do you expect to escape from being condemned to hell? 34And so I tell you that I will send you prophets and wise men and teachers; you will kill some of them, crucify others, and whip others in the synagogues and chase them from town to town. 35As a result, the punishment for the murder of all innocent people will fall on you, from the murder of innocent Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36I tell you indeed: the punishment for all these murders will fall on the people of this day!

Jesus' Love for Jerusalem

(Lk 13.34–35)

37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times have I wanted to put my arms round all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me! 38And so your Temple will be abandoned and empty. 39From now on, I tell you, you will never see me again until you say, ‘God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”

Matthew 23GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus Speaks of the Destruction of the Temple

(Mk 13.1–2; Lk 21.5–6)

1Jesus left and was going away from the Temple when his disciples came to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2“Yes,” he said, “you may well look at all these. I tell you this: not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one of them will be thrown down.”

Troubles and Persecutions

(Mk 13.3–13; Lk 21.7–19)

3As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him in private. “Tell us when all this will be,” they asked, “and what will happen to show that it is the time for your coming and the end of the age.”

4Jesus answered, “Be on your guard, and do not let anyone deceive you. 5Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will deceive many people. 6You are going to hear the noise of battles close by and the news of battles far away; but do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come. 7Countries will fight each other, kingdoms will attack one another. There will be famines and earthquakes everywhere. 8All these things are like the first pains of childbirth.

9“Then you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and be put to death. All nations will hate you because of me. 10Many will give up their faith at that time; they will betray one another and hate one another. 11Then many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Such will be the spread of evil that many people's love will grow cold. 13But whoever holds out to the end will be saved. 14And this Good News about the Kingdom will be preached through all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end will come.

The Awful Horror

(Mk 13.14–23; Lk 21.20–24)

15“You will see ‘The Awful Horror’ of which the prophet Daniel spoke. It will be standing in the holy place.” (Note to the reader: be sure to understand what this means!) 16“Then those who are in Judea must run away to the hills. 17Someone who is on the roof of his house must not take the time to go down and get his belongings from the house. 18Someone who is in the field must not go back to get his cloak. 19How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies! 20Pray to God that you will not have to run away during the winter or on a Sabbath! 21For the trouble at that time will be far more terrible than any there has ever been, from the beginning of the world to this very day. Nor will there ever be anything like it again. 22But God has already reduced the number of days; had he not done so, nobody would survive. For the sake of his chosen people, however, God will reduce the days.

23“Then, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ — do not believe it. 24For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear; they will perform great miracles and wonders in order to deceive even God's chosen people, if possible. 25Listen! I have told you this before the time comes.

26“Or, if people should tell you, ‘Look, he is out in the desert!’ — don't go there; or if they say, ‘Look, he is hiding here!’ — don't believe it. 27For the Son of Man will come like the lightning which flashes across the whole sky from the east to the west.

28“Wherever there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.

The Coming of the Son of Man

(Mk 13.24–27; Lk 21.25–28)

29“Soon after the trouble of those days, the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses. 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky; and all the peoples of earth will weep as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31The great trumpet will sound, and he will send out his angels to the four corners of the earth, and they will gather his chosen people from one end of the world to the other.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

(Mk 13.28–31; Lk 21.29–33)

32“Let the fig tree teach you a lesson. When its branches become green and tender and it starts putting out leaves, you know that summer is near. 33In the same way, when you see all these things, you will know that the time is near, ready to begin. 34Remember that all these things will happen before the people now living have all died. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

No One Knows the Day and Hour

(Mk 13.32–37; Lk 17.26–30, 34–36)

36“No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come — neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; the Father alone knows. 37The coming of the Son of Man will be like what happened in the time of Noah. 38In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; 39yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes. 40At that time two men will be working in a field: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind. 41Two women will be at a mill grinding meal: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind.

42“Be on your guard, then, because you do not know what day your Lord will come. 43If the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, you can be sure that he would stay awake and not let the thief break into his house. 44So then, you also must always be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.

The Faithful or the Unfaithful Servant

(Lk 12.41–48)

45“Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant? It is the one that his master has placed in charge of the other servants to give them their food at the proper time. 46How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home! 47Indeed, I tell you, the master will put that servant in charge of all his property. 48But if he is a bad servant, he will tell himself that his master will not come back for a long time, 49and he will begin to beat his fellow-servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50Then that servant's master will come back one day when the servant does not expect him and at a time he does not know. 51The master will cut him in pieces and make him share the fate of the hypocrites. There he will cry and grind his teeth.

Matthew 24GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Parable of the Ten Young Women

1“At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, 4while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps. 5The bridegroom was late in coming, so the women began to nod and fall asleep.

6“It was already midnight when the cry rang out, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!’ 7The ten women woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9‘No, indeed,’ the wise ones answered, ‘there is not enough for you and for us. Go to the shop and buy some for yourselves.’ 10So the foolish women went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed.

11“Later the other women arrived. ‘Sir, sir! Let us in!’ they cried out. 12‘Certainly not! I don't know you,’ the bridegroom answered.”

13And Jesus concluded, “Be on your guard, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The Parable of the Three Servants

(Lk 19.11–27)

14“At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there was a man who was about to go on a journey; he called his servants and put them in charge of his property. 15He gave to each one according to his ability: to one he gave 5,000 gold coins, to another he gave 2,000, and to another he gave 1,000. Then he left on his journey. 16The servant who had received 5,000 coins went at once and invested his money and earned another 5,000. 17In the same way the servant who had received 2,000 coins earned another 2,000. 18But the servant who had received 1,000 coins went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master's money.

19“After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. 20The servant who had received 5,000 coins came in and handed over the other 5,000. ‘You gave me 5,000 coins, sir,’ he said. ‘Look! Here are another 5,000 that I have earned.’ 21‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’

22“Then the servant who had been given 2,000 coins came in and said, ‘You gave me 2,000 coins, sir. Look! Here are another 2,000 that I have earned.’ 23‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’

24“Then the servant who had received 1,000 coins came in and said, ‘Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvests where you did not sow, and you gather crops where you did not scatter seed. 25I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground. Look! Here is what belongs to you.’

26“ ‘You bad and lazy servant!’ his master said. ‘You knew, did you, that I reap harvests where I did not sow, and gather crops where I did not scatter seed? 27Well, then, you should have deposited my money in the bank, and I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. 28Now, take the money away from him and give it to the one who has 10,000 coins. 29For to every person who has something, even more will be given, and he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing, even the little that he has will be taken away from him. 30As for this useless servant — throw him outside in the darkness; there he will cry and grind his teeth.’

The Final Judgement

31“When the Son of Man comes as King and all the angels with him, he will sit on his royal throne, 32and the people of all the nations will be gathered before him. Then he will divide them into two groups, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the righteous people on his right and the others on his left. 34Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world. 35I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, 36naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’

37“The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ 40The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these members of my family, you did it for me!’

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Away from me, you that are under God's curse! Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels! 42I was hungry but you would not feed me, thirsty but you would not give me a drink; 43I was a stranger but you would not welcome me in your homes, naked but you would not clothe me; I was sick and in prison but you would not take care of me.’

44“Then they will answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and would not help you?’ 45The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me.’ 46These, then, will be sent off to eternal punishment, but the righteous will go to eternal life.”

Matthew 25GNBOpen in Bible reader
Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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