Matthew 25

Parable of Ten Virgins

1 "Then 1the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their 2lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 "Five of them were foolish, and five were 3prudent.
3 "For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,
4 but the 4prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.
5 "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.
6 "But at midnight * there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'
7 "Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
8 "The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
9 "But the 5prudent answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.'
10 "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were 6ready went in with him to 7the wedding feast; and 8the door was shut.
11 "Later the other virgins also came, saying, '9Lord, lord, open up for us.'
12 "But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.'
13 "10Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Parable of the Talents

14 "11For it is just like a man 12about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.
15 "To one he gave five 13talents, to another *, two, and to another *, one, each according to his own ability; and he 14went on his journey.
16 "Immediately the one who had received the five 15talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.
17 "In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.
18 "But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19 "Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and 16settled accounts with them.
20 "The one who had received the five 17talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, 'Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.'
21 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and 18faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will 19put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
22 "Also the one who had received the two 20talents came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.'
23 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and 21faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
24 "And the one also who had received the one 22talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.
25 'And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.'
26 "But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.
27 'Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.
28 'Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.'
29 "23For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
30 "Throw out the worthless slave into 24the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Judgment

31 "But when 25the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then 26He will sit on His glorious throne.
32 "All the nations will be 27gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, 28as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
33 and He will put the sheep 29on His right, and the goats 30on the left.
34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, 31inherit the kingdom prepared for you 32from the foundation of the world.
35 'For 33I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; 34I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
36 35naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you 36visited Me; 37I was in prison, and you came to 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?
38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
39 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
40 "38The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, 39to the extent * that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, '40Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the 41eternal fire which has been prepared for 42the devil and his angels;
42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
44 "Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'
45 "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent * that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
46 "These will go away into 43eternal punishment, but the righteous into 44eternal life."

Images for Matthew 25

Matthew 25 Commentary

Chapter 25

The parable of the ten virgins. (1-13) The parable of the talents. (14-30) The judgment. (31-46)

Verses 1-13 The circumstances of the parable of the ten virgins were taken from the marriage customs among the Jews, and explain the great day of Christ's coming. See the nature of Christianity. As Christians we profess to attend upon Christ, to honour him, also to be waiting for his coming. Sincere Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones. Those are the truly wise or foolish that are so in the affairs of their souls. Many have a lamp of profession in their hands, but have not, in their hearts, sound knowledge and settled resolution, which are needed to carry them through the services and trials of the present state. Their hearts are not stored with holy dispositions, by the new-creating Spirit of God. Our light must shine before men in good works; but this is not likely to be long done, unless there is a fixed, active principle in the heart, of faith in Christ, and love to God and our brethren. They all slumbered and slept. The delay represents the space between the real or apparent conversion of these professors, and the coming of Christ, to take them away by death, or to judge the world. But though Christ tarry past our time, he will not tarry past the due time. The wise virgins kept their lamps burning, but they did not keep themselves awake. Too many real Christians grow remiss, and one degree of carelessness makes way for another. Those that allow themselves to slumber, will scarcely keep from sleeping; therefore dread the beginning of spiritual decays. A startling summons was given. Go ye forth to meet Him, is a call to those prepared. The notice of Christ's approach, and the call to meet him, will awaken. Even those best prepared for death ( 2 Peter. 3:14 ) day of search and inquiry; and it concerns us to think how we shall then be found. Some wanted oil to supply their lamps when going out. Those that take up short of true grace, will certainly find the want of it one time or other. An outward profession may light a man along this world, but the damps of the valley of the shadow of death will put out such a light. Those who care not to live the life, yet would die the death of the righteous. But those that would be saved, must have grace of their own; and those that have most grace, have none to spare. The best need more from Christ. And while the poor alarmed soul addresses itself, upon a sick-bed, to repentance and prayer, in awful confusion, death comes, judgment comes, the work is undone, and the poor sinner is undone for ever. This comes of having oil to buy when we should burn it, grace to get when we should use it. Those, and those only, shall go to heaven hereafter, that are made ready for heaven here. The suddenness of death and of Christ's coming to us then, will not hinder our happiness, if we have been prepared. The door was shut. Many will seek admission into heaven when it is too late. The vain confidence of hypocrites will carry them far in expectations of happiness. The unexpected summons of death may alarm the Christian; but, proceeding without delay to trim his lamp, his graces often shine more bright; while the mere professor's conduct shows that his lamp is going out. Watch therefore, attend to the business of your souls. Be in the fear of the Lord all the day long.

Verses 14-30 Christ keeps no servants to be idle: they have received their all from him, and have nothing they can call their own but sin. Our receiving from Christ is in order to our working for him. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. The day of account comes at last. We must all be reckoned with as to what good we have got to our own souls, and have done to others, by the advantages we have enjoyed. It is not meant that the improving of natural powers can entitle a man to Divine grace. It is the real Christian's liberty and privilege to be employed as his Redeemer's servant, in promoting his glory, and the good of his people: the love of Christ constrains him to live no longer to himself, but to Him that died for him, and rose again. Those who think it impossible to please God, and in vain to serve him, will do nothing to purpose in religion. They complain that He requires of them more than they are capable of, and punishes them for what they cannot help. Whatever they may pretend, the fact is, they dislike the character and work of the Lord. The slothful servant is sentenced to be deprived of his talent. This may be applied to the blessings of this life; but rather to the means of grace. Those who know not the day of their visitation, shall have the things that belong to their peace hid from their eyes. His doom is, to be cast into outer darkness. It is a usual way of expressing the miseries of the damned in hell. Here, as in what was said to the faithful servants, our Saviour goes out of the parable into the thing intended by it, and this serves as a key to the whole. Let us not envy sinners, or covet any of their perishing possessions.

Verses 31-46 This is a description of the last judgment. It is as an explanation of the former parables. There is a judgment to come, in which every man shall be sentenced to a state of everlasting happiness, or misery. Christ shall come, not only in the glory of his Father, but in his own glory, as Mediator. The wicked and godly here dwell together, in the same cities, churches, families, and are not always to be known the one from the other; such are the weaknesses of saints, such the hypocrisies of sinners; and death takes both: but in that day they will be parted for ever. Jesus Christ is the great Shepherd; he will shortly distinguish between those that are his, and those that are not. All other distinctions will be done away; but the great one between saints and sinners, holy and unholy, will remain for ever. The happiness the saints shall possess is very great. It is a kingdom; the most valuable possession on earth; yet this is but a faint resemblance of the blessed state of the saints in heaven. It is a kingdom prepared. The Father provided it for them in the greatness of his wisdom and power; the Son purchased it for them; and the blessed Spirit, in preparing them for the kingdom, is preparing it for them. It is prepared for them: it is in all points adapted to the new nature of a sanctified soul. It is prepared from the foundation of the world. This happiness was for the saints, and they for it, from all eternity. They shall come and inherit it. What we inherit is not got by ourselves. It is God that makes heirs of heaven. We are not to suppose that acts of bounty will entitle to eternal happiness. Good works done for God's sake, through Jesus Christ, are here noticed as marking the character of believers made holy by the Spirit of Christ, and as the effects of grace bestowed on those who do them. The wicked in this world were often called to come to Christ for life and rest, but they turned from his calls; and justly are those bid to depart from Christ, that would not come to him. Condemned sinners will in vain offer excuses. The punishment of the wicked will be an everlasting punishment; their state cannot be altered. Thus life and death, good and evil, the blessing and the curse, are set before us, that we may choose our way, and as our way so shall our end be.

Cross References 44

  • 1. Matthew 13:24
  • 2. John 18:3; Acts 20:8; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 8:10
  • 3. Matthew 7:24; Matthew 10:16; Matthew 25:2f
  • 4. Matthew 7:24; Matthew 10:16; Matthew 25:2f
  • 5. Matthew 7:24; Matthew 10:16; Matthew 25:2f
  • 6. Matthew 24:42f
  • 7. Luke 12:35
  • 8. Matthew 7:21f; Luke 13:25
  • 9. Matthew 7:21f; Luke 13:25
  • 10. Matthew 24:42f
  • 11. Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27
  • 12. Matthew 21:33
  • 13. Matthew 18:24; Luke 19:13
  • 14. Matthew 21:33
  • 15. Matthew 18:24; Luke 19:13
  • 16. Matthew 18:23
  • 17. Matthew 18:24; Luke 19:13
  • 18. Matthew 24:45, 47; Matthew 25:23
  • 19. Luke 12:44; Luke 22:29; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 21:7
  • 20. Matthew 18:24; Luke 19:13
  • 21. Matthew 24:45, 47; Matthew 25:21
  • 22. Matthew 18:24; Luke 19:13
  • 23. Matthew 13:12; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18; John 15:2
  • 24. Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13; Luke 13:28
  • 25. Matthew 16:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Hebrews 9:28; Jude 14; Revelation 1:7
  • 26. Matthew 19:28
  • 27. Matthew 13:49; 2 Corinthians 5:10
  • 28. Ezekiel 34:17, 20
  • 29. 1 Kings 2:19; Psalms 45:9
  • 30. Ecclesiastes 10:2
  • 31. Matthew 5:3; Matthew 19:29; Luke 12:32; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 5:21; James 2:5
  • 32. Matthew 13:35; Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8
  • 33. Isaiah 58:7; Ezekiel 18:7, 16; James 2:15, 16
  • 34. Job 31:32; Hebrews 13:2
  • 35. Isaiah 58:7; Ezekiel 18:7, 16; James 2:15, 16
  • 36. James 1:27
  • 37. 2 Timothy 1:16
  • 38. Matthew 25:34; Luke 19:38; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16
  • 39. Proverbs 19:17; Matthew 10:42; Hebrews 6:10
  • 40. Matthew 7:23
  • 41. Mark 9:48; Luke 16:24; Jude 7
  • 42. Matthew 4:10; Revelation 12:9
  • 43. Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Acts 24:15
  • 44. Matthew 19:29; John 3:15f, 36; John 5:24; John 6:27, 40, 47, 54; John 17:2; Acts 13:46, 48; Romans 2:7; Romans 5:21; Romans 6:23; Galatians 6:8; 1 John 5:11

Footnotes 5

Matthew 25 Commentaries

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