1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.2Five of them were foolish and five were wise.3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'9" '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.'10"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.11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the 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, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation 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 needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.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, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,
2"As you know, the Passover is two days away--and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."3
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,
and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him.
"But not during the Feast," they said, "or there may be a riot among the people."
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper,
a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked.
"This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor."
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.13I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
Then one of the Twelve--the one called Judas Iscariot--went to the chief priests
and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.
From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.' "19
So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me."22
They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?"
Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."25
Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you."26
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."27
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."30
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: " 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'32But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."33
Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."
34"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."35
But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."37
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."39
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."40
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter.
41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."42
He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."43
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.
So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him."
Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him.
Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for." Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.
With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?"55
At that time Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.
But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.
But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward
and declared, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.' "
Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?"
But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."
64"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."65
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.
What do you think?" "He is worthy of death," they answered.
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him
and said, "Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?"
Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said.
But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said.
Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth."
He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!"
After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away."
Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!" Immediately a rooster crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death.
They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.
"I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money."
So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners.
That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel,
and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."
Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.
Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?"
But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge--to the great amazement of the governor.
Now it was the governor's custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.
At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.
So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?"
For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him.
While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him."
But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
"Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor. "Barabbas," they answered.
"What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!"
"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"
All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"
Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him.
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,
and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said.
They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).
There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.
When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.
Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads
and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself ! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.
"He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself ! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' "
In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ""Eloi, Eloi," "lama" "sabachthani?""--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"47
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.
The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"
Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.
Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.
"Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.'
So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first."
"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how."
So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.