Stories from the Life of Christ Told to the Children - Janet Kelman

The Parable of the Virgins

And as Jesus sat upon the Mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James, and John and Andrew, asked him, "Tell us what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?"

And Jesus said, "Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, neither the Son, but the Father. Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be thought worthy to stand before the Son of Man. For ye know not when your Lord doth come, at even, or at midnight, or at cock-crowing, or in the morning, lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, 'Watch.'

"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil in them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, 'Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.'

"Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, 'Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out.'

"But the wise answered, 'Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you, but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.'

"And while they went to buy, the bride-groom came. And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage. And the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open unto us.'

"But he answered and said, 'Verily I say unto you, I know you not.'

"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.

"When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations. And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me. I was sick, and ye visited me. I was in prison, and ye came unto me.'

"Then shall the righteous answer him, 'Lord, when saw we thee a stranger and took thee in, or naked and clothed thee; or when saw we thee sick or in prison and came unto thee?'

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'

"Then shall he say unto those on the left hand, 'Depart from me: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not, sick and in prison, and ye visited me not.'

"Then shall they also answer him, saying, 'Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?'

"Then shall he answer them, saying, 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me?'"

And when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified."