Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

Matthew 25; Matthew 26

1 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to wait for the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The five foolish bridesmaids took their lamps, but they did not take more oil for the lamps to burn. 4 The wise bridesmaids took their lamps and more oil in jars. 5 Because the bridegroom was late, they became sleepy and went to sleep. 6 "At midnight someone cried out, 'The bridegroom is coming! Come and meet him!' 7 Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready. 8 But the foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.' 9 The wise bridesmaids answered, 'No, the oil we have might not be enough for all of us. Go to the people who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10 "So while the five foolish bridesmaids went to buy oil, the bridegroom came. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked. 11 "Later the others came back and said, 'Sir, sir, open the door to let us in.' 12 But the bridegroom answered, 'I tell you the truth, I don't want to know you.' 13 "So always be ready, because you don't know the day or the hour the Son of Man will come. 14 "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was going to another place for a visit. Before he left, he called for his servants and told them to take care of his things while he was gone. 15 He gave one servant five bags of gold, another servant two bags of gold, and a third servant one bag of gold, to each one as much as he could handle. Then he left. 16 The servant who got five bags went quickly to invest the money and earned five more bags. 17 In the same way, the servant who had two bags invested them and earned two more. 18 But the servant who got one bag went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid the master's money. 19 "After a long time the master came home and asked the servants what they did with his money. 20 The servant who was given five bags of gold brought five more bags to the master and said, 'Master, you trusted me to care for five bags of gold, so I used your five bags to earn five more.' 21 The master answered, 'You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.' 22 "Then the servant who had been given two bags of gold came to the master and said, 'Master, you gave me two bags of gold to care for, so I used your two bags to earn two more.' 23 The master answered, 'You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.' 24 "Then the servant who had been given one bag of gold came to the master and said, 'Master, I knew that you were a hard man. You harvest things you did not plant. You gather crops where you did not sow any seed. 25 So I was afraid and went and hid your money in the ground. Here is your bag of gold.' 26 The master answered, 'You are a wicked and lazy servant! You say you knew that I harvest things I did not plant and that I gather crops where I did not sow any seed. 27 So you should have put my gold in the bank. Then, when I came home, I would have received my gold back with interest.' 28 "So the master told his other servants, 'Take the bag of gold from that servant and give it to the servant who has ten bags of gold. 29 Those who have much will get more, and they will have much more than they need. But those who do not have much will have everything taken away from them.' 30 Then the master said, 'Throw that useless servant outside, into the darkness where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.' 31 "The Son of Man will come again in his great glory, with all his angels. He will be King and sit on his great throne. 32 All the nations of the world will be gathered before him, and he will separate them into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 The Son of Man will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 "Then the King will say to the people on his right, 'Come, my Father has given you his blessing. Receive the kingdom God has prepared for you since the world was made. 35 I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. 36 I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.' 37 "Then the good people will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?' 40 "Then the King will answer, 'I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.' 41 "Then the King will say to those on his left, 'Go away from me. You will be punished. Go into the fire that burns forever that was prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was alone and away from home, and you did not invite me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me nothing to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you did not care for me.' 44 "Then those people will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or alone and away from home or without clothes or sick or in prison? When did we see these things and not help you?' 45 "Then the King will answer, 'I tell you the truth, anything you refused to do for even the least of my people here, you refused to do for me.' 46 "These people will go off to be punished forever, but the good people will go to live forever."
1 After Jesus finished saying all these things, he told his followers, 2 "You know that the day after tomorrow is the day of the Passover Feast. On that day the Son of Man will be given to his enemies to be crucified." 3 Then the leading priests and the older Jewish leaders had a meeting at the palace of the high priest, named Caiaphas. 4 At the meeting, they planned to set a trap to arrest Jesus and kill him. 5 But they said, "We must not do it during the feast, because the people might cause a riot." 6 Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, who had a skin disease. 7 While Jesus was there, a woman approached him with an alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. She poured this perfume on Jesus' head while he was eating. 8 His followers were upset when they saw the woman do this. They asked, "Why waste that perfume? 9 It could have been sold for a great deal of money and the money given to the poor." 10 Knowing what had happened, Jesus said, "Why are you troubling this woman? She did an excellent thing for me. 11 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 This woman poured perfume on my body to prepare me for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached in all the world, what this woman has done will be told, and people will remember her." 14 Then one of the twelve apostles, Judas Iscariot, went to talk to the leading priests. 15 He said, "What will you pay me for giving Jesus to you?" And they gave him thirty silver coins. 16 After that, Judas watched for the best time to turn Jesus in. 17 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the followers came to Jesus. They said, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?" 18 Jesus answered, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: The chosen time is near. I will have the Passover with my followers at your house.'" 19 The followers did what Jesus told them to do, and they prepared the Passover meal. 20 In the evening Jesus was sitting at the table with his twelve followers. 21 As they were eating, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will turn against me." 22 This made the followers very sad. Each one began to say to Jesus, "Surely, Lord, I am not the one who will turn against you, am I?" 23 Jesus answered, "The man who has dipped his hand with me into the bowl is the one who will turn against me. 24 The Son of Man will die, just as the Scriptures say. But how terrible it will be for the person who hands the Son of Man over to be killed. It would be better for him if he had never been born." 25 Then Judas, who would give Jesus to his enemies, said to Jesus, "Teacher, surely I am not the one, am I?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you." 26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread and thanked God for it and broke it. Then he gave it to his followers and said, "Take this bread and eat it; this is my body." 27 Then Jesus took a cup and thanked God for it and gave it to the followers. He said, "Every one of you drink this. 28 This is my blood which is the new agreement that God makes with his people. This blood is poured out for many to forgive their sins. 29 I tell you this: I will not drink of this fruit of the vinen again until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." 30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Jesus told his followers, "Tonight you will all stumble in your faith on account of me, because it is written in the Scriptures: 'I will kill the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter.' 32 But after I rise from the dead, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." 33 Peter said, "Everyone else may stumble in their faith because of you, but I will not." 34 Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, tonight before the rooster crows you will say three times that you don't know me." 35 But Peter said, "I will never say that I don't know you! I will even die with you!" And all the other followers said the same thing. 36 Then Jesus went with his followers to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him, and he began to be very sad and troubled. 38 He said to them, "My heart is full of sorrow, to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me." 39 After walking a little farther away from them, Jesus fell to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, do not give me this cupn of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want." 40 Then Jesus went back to his followers and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "You men could not stay awake with me for one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. The spirit wants to do what is right, but the body is weak." 42 Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this painful thing to be taken from me, and if I must do it, I pray that what you want will be done." 43 Then he went back to his followers, and again he found them asleep, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So Jesus left them and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then Jesus went back to his followers and said, "Are you still sleeping and resting? The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinful people. 46 Get up, we must go. Look, here comes the man who has turned against me." 47 While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve apostles, came up. With him were many people carrying swords and clubs who had been sent from the leading priests and the older Jewish leaders of the people. 48 Judas had planned to give them a signal, saying, "The man I kiss is Jesus. Arrest him." 49 At once Judas went to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Teacher!" and kissed him. 50 Jesus answered, "Friend, do what you came to do." Then the people came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51 When that happened, one of Jesus' followers reached for his sword and pulled it out. He struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Jesus said to the man, "Put your sword back in its place. All who use swords will be killed with swords. 53 Surely you know I could ask my Father, and he would give me more than twelve armies of angels. 54 But it must happen this way to bring about what the Scriptures say." 55 Then Jesus said to the crowd, "You came to get me with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal. Every day I sat in the Temple teaching, and you did not arrest me there. 56 But all these things have happened so that it will come about as the prophets wrote." Then all of Jesus' followers left him and ran away. 57 Those people who arrested Jesus led him to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the older Jewish leaders were gathered. 58 Peter followed far behind to the courtyard of the high priest's house, and he sat down with the guards to see what would happen to Jesus. 59 The leading priests and the whole Jewish council tried to find something false against Jesus so they could kill him. 60 Many people came and told lies about him, but the council could find no real reason to kill him. Then two people came and said, 61 "This man said, 'I can destroy the Temple of God and build it again in three days.'" 62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Aren't you going to answer? Don't you have something to say about their charges against you?" 63 But Jesus said nothing. Again the high priest said to Jesus, "I command you by the power of the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus answered, "Those are your words. But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God, the Powerful One, and coming on clouds in the sky." 65 When the high priest heard this, he tore his clothes and said, "This man has said things that are against God! We don't need any more witnesses; you all heard him say these things against God. 66 What do you think?" The people answered, "He should die." 67 Then the people there spat in Jesus' face and beat him with their fists. Others slapped him. 68 They said, "Prove to us that you are a prophet, you Christ! Tell us who hit you!" 69 At that time, as Peter was sitting in the courtyard, a servant girl came to him and said, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee." 70 But Peter said to all the people there that he was never with Jesus. He said, "I don't know what you are talking about." 71 When he left the courtyard and was at the gate, another girl saw him. She said to the people there, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." 72 Again, Peter said he was never with him, saying, "I swear I don't know this man Jesus!" 73 A short time later, some people standing there went to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of those who followed Jesus. The way you talk shows it." 74 Then Peter began to place a curse on himself and swear, "I don't know the man." At once, a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: "Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don't know me." Then Peter went outside and cried painfully.
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