TWENTY-FIVE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like the maidens who carried their lamps and went to meet the groom as he prepared to be married. Five of them were foolish and five of them were wise. But the foolish ones took no oil, while the wise did, to wait till he arrived. As the bridegroom was long in coming, they all became drowsy and slept. And at midnight, a cry arose, 'Go forth to meet whose vigil you've kept!' Then all the maidens rose and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going dead.' But the wise answered, saying, 'Lest there may not be enough for us and you, go buy some from those who sell the stuff.' Now while they were gone to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went into the feast, and then the door was closed. Finally, the other maidens returned, and said, 'Sir, open the door!' But he told them, 'I do not know you.' Watch, of the hour, no one can be sure." PARABLE OF THE TALENTS "For it is like a man who called his servants and handed to them his goods, for he was going abroad, to make use of them for him. And to one he gave five talents, and to another, he gave two, and to another one, one; to each, according to his ability to do. And then he set out on his journey, and he who received five talents went and traded with them and gained five more, and in like manner, the servant who had been given two talents gained two more, but her who did receive but one talent, took the money and in the earth, it, he hid. Then, after a long time, the master came back to settle accounts. And he who received five talents, brought to him twice the amount, saying, 'Master, with what thou gave me, I have gained five more, behold,' and his master said, 'Well done, good servant, you were faithful with those you did hold, so I will set you over many, into thy master's joy you can come.' And likewise, he told the second servant, when he received his doubled sum. But he who received one talent, came and said, 'Master, I know that thou art a stern man; thou reapest where thou hast not sowed, and gatherest where thou has not winnowed; and as I was afraid, I went away and hid my talent in the earth where it has stayed; behold, thou hast what is thine.' But his master answered and said, 'Thou wicked and slothful servant! Why did you not instead, if you knew I reaped but sowed not, entrust my money to the banks? And on my return, I should have got my own, with interest and thanks. Take away, therefore, the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten. For to everyone who has, shall be given, and he shall have abundance, then; but from him who does not have, even that shall be taken. Cast him outside, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And this unprofitable servant can reside.'" THE LAST JUDGMENT "But when the Son of Man shall come in his majesty and all the angels with him, he will sit on the throne of his glory and call before him all the nations, and he well separate one from another, as the shepherd puts his sheep on the right, but puts his goats on the other. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, blessed of my Father, and take possession of the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world, for your sake; for I was hungry and you gave me to eat; thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you did not shrink from covering me; sick and you visited; in prison, and you came to me.' Then the just will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and feed thee; or thirsty and gave drink? And when was this stranger our guest? And when were you naked that we clothed thee, and came to thee sick or under arrest?' And answering them, the king will say, 'Amen, I say onto thee, as long as you did it for the least of by brethren, you did it also for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Accursed ones, depart from me, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil, his angels, and thee. For I was hungry, you gave me naught to eat; nor to drink when I did thirst; I was a stranger, and you did not take me in; naked, and you did not clothe me; cursed with sickness, and I was in prison, and you did not come to visit me.' Then they will answer and ask, 'Lord, when was it that we saw thee hungry, or thirsty, naked, or sick, or a stranger or in prison and did not minister to thee?' Then he will say, 'Amen, as long as you did not do it for one of these least little ones, you did not do it for me.' And these will go into everlasting punishment; but, for the just, into life eternally." TWENTY-SIX THE LAST SUPPER And it came to pass when Jesus has spoken in this way, that he said to his disciples, "You know that in two days, the Passover will be here, and as I have described, the Son of Man will be delivered up, and will be crucified." Then the chief priests and elders of the people gathered at the court of the high priest Caiphas to counsel as to how they might resort to seize Jesus by stealth and put him to death then. But they said, "Not on the Feast, or there may be a riot when the people find out we have done it." Now Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon, the leper, when a woman came up, and she poured a jar of precious ointment on his head as he reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant at this kind of waste and said, "To what purpose is this, for it might have been sold for much and then this given to help the poor or the old?" But Jesus, perceiving it, said to them, "Why do you trouble her? She has done a good deed for me. For the poor you have always with you; but the Son is not to be long amongst you. You do not always have me. For in pouring the ointment on my body, she has made me ready to bury. For, amen, I say to you, where throughout this world ever, this gospel is preached, this also shall be told in memory of her." Then one of the Twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the priests and said, "What are you willing to give me for delivering onto you whom you dread?" And they assured him thirty pieces of silver would be given to him that day. And from then on he sought out an opportunity to betray. Now, on the first day of the Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Where dost thou want us to prepare for thee to eat the unleavened bread of Passover?" But Jesus said, "Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, 'My Master says 'My time is near at hand; at thy house I am keeping Passover, with my disciples, it will be shared!'" And the disciples did as he bade them, and the Passover meal they prepared. Now when evening arrived, he reclined at the table with the twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "Amen, I say to you, one of you is about to betray me." And being very saddened, they began each to say "Lord, is it me?" But he answered and said, "He who dips his hand into my dish will be he who betrays me. The Son of Man goes his way, as is written, in scorn; but woe to that man who betrays him! It were better if he had never been born." And Judas, who betrayed him, asked him, "Is it I, Rabbi?," and his head turned to look at him as he sat there, and he told him, "As thou hast said." And while they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to his disciples to eat, and as he did this, he spoke, "Take ye and eat, for this is my body." And taking a cup, he gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, "All of you, drink of this," and they drank, "for this is by blood of the new covenant, which is being shed for many onto the forgiveness of sins. But I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, I say onto you, until the say when I shall drink it with you in my Father's kingdom." And they set to go out to Mount Olivet after he said to do this in memory of him. And Jesus said, "You will all this night be scandalized because of me; for it is written, 'I will smite the shepherd and the sheep will scattered be.' But after I have arisen, I will go before you into Galilee." But Peter answered, "Even though all be so, I'll never be scandalized by thee." Jesus said to him, "Amen, this night, before a cock crows, thou wilt deny me three times." But Peter said, and all the others agreed they felt, "Even if I should have to die with thee, Lord, I shall not deny thee." But though he had prophesized to warn them, they could not know what was to be. THE PASSION AND DEATH OF JESUS Then Jesus came with his disciples to a country place called Gethsemane: "Sit down here while I go over and pray." And he took Peter and the sons of Zebedee. And he began to be saddened and troubled, and told them, "Sad is my soul, even onto death. Wait here and watch," and a ways forward from them he did stroll, then fell prostrate, and prayed, saying, "Father, if it can be still, let this cup pass away from my lips; yet, not as I would, but as Thou will." Then he came back to his disciples and found them asleep, and he said to Peter, "Could you not watch, then, one hour with me in your stead? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again, he went away and fell down in prayer kneeling, "My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink, Thy will be done." And he came again and found them asleep, for their eyes were heavily burdened. And leaving them, he went back again, and prayed a third time, the same words over, then he rose up, and back to his sleeping disciples, he came, and said, "Sleep on now, take your rest! Behold, the hour the Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of sinners is here. Rise, he who betrays me is at hand." And while he was yet speaking, Judas came up and with him, a great crowd with swords, from the chief priests and elders of the people, "Whomever I kiss is my Lord; lay hold of him." And he went straight to Jesus, "Hail, Rabbi," and kissed him. Jesus did say, "Friend, for what purpose have you come here?" And they came forward to take him away. And, behold, one of those who was with Jesus reached out and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear, crying, "Lord!" But Jesus said, "Put back thy sword into its place, for the Lord says 'all those who take up the sword, will perish as well by the sword.' Or dost thou suppose I cannot entreat my Father, and He will not even now furnish me with more than twelve legions of angels? Tell me, then, how are the Scriptures you know to be fulfilled, and thus it must take place." And at that hour, Jesus said to the crowds, "As against a robber you chase, with swords and clubs, to seize me. Yet, did I not sit daily with you in the Temple teaching, and you did not lay hands on me as you now do." Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled what the prophets in the Scripture had said. And they tied and bound and took Jesus. Then all the disciples left him and fled. Now those who had taken Jesus led him to Caiphas, the high priest, where the Scribes and elders had gathered. But Peter followed at a distance even there to the courtyard of the high priest and went in, with the attendants, he sat to see the end. Now the chief priests and the Sanhedrin were seeking that false witness be given against Jesus, that they might have him killed, but none was found, though many came forward. But the last two said, "This one said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and rebuild it in three days.'" Then the high priest stood over Jesus and asked what he had to say. "Dost thou make no answer to these things that these men prefer against thee?" But Jesus kept his silence. And the high priest continued and said, "I adjure thee by the Living God that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God." And Jesus said to him, "What thou has said, then, will suffice. Thou hast said it. Nevertheless, I say, hereafter, the Son of Man shall be coming at the right hand of the Power, on the clouds of heaven for all to see." Then the high priest tore his garments, saying, "He has blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, you all have seen and heard this blasphemy. What do you think?" And they answered and all said, "We him liable onto death. Crucify him until he is dead!" Then they spat in his face and buffeted him, while others struck his face harshly, saying, "Prophecy to us, O Christ! Who is it that struck thee?" Now Peter was sitting just outside in the courtyard, and a servant-maid came up to him and said, "Thou also was with Jesus," but he said, "I do not know what thou art saying." And when he went out to the gateway, another maid saw him and repeated the charge, and he denied it with an oath to say, "I do not know the man!" And after a while, the bystanders came up to say to Peter, "Surely, thou art one of them, for even thy speech gives thee away." Then he began to curse and swear that he did not know the man; and at that moment, a cock crowed, and Peter remembered the stand he had made to Jesus and that Jesus had said, "Thou wilt deny me three times before a cock crows." And he went out and wept bitterly. TWENTY-SEVEN THE WAY OF THE CROSS Now the chief priests and the elders took counsel, when morning came, against Jesus to put him to death, and bound and led him off in shame, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the Procurator of Roman Law. Then Judas, who had betrayed him, when his condemnation saw, repented and took the silver pieces back to the elders and priests saying, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood," but his anger only increased when they told him, "What is that to us? See to it yourself." So he loosed the silver pieces into the Temple, and left, and hanged himself with a noose. And the chief priests took the silver and said, "It's not lawful for us to yield blood money back to the treasury," so they bought a potter's field, as a burial place for strangers. For that reason, to this day, that field is called Haceldama, the Field of Blood, they say. Then what was spoken by Jeremias, the prophet, was fulfilled, "As the Lord has directed me, they gave them for the potter's field, the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him who was priced, upon whom the children of Israel set a price," - - - the Christ. Now Jesus stood before Pilate, the Procurator, and was asked by him, "Art thou the king of the Jews?" "Thou sayest it," Jesus said back. and when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, no answer he made. Then Pilate asked, "Dost thou not hear these things that they have said against thee?" But not a single word did he answer, but silently stood there, and the Procurator wondered exceedingly. Now at festival time, the Procurator used to release to the crowd a prisoner, whomever they would - - - the custom and law allowed. Now he had a notorious criminal as prisoner named Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered, Pontius Pilate stood to ask, "Whom do you wish I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus, called Christ?" For he knew it was out of envy they had delivered him up. Then his wife sent to him warning, "Have nothing to do with this just man, for I have suffered many things in a dream today because of him." And the chief priests and elders meantime persuaded the crowds to ask for the release of Barabbas to them, and to destroy Jesus at last. So when the Procurator addressed them and said, "Which shall I release?" They cried out, "Give us Barabbas!," and they would not cease. "What shall I do with Jesus, called Christ?" Pilate asked as they cried, "For what evil has he done?," but the more they yelled, "Let him be crucified!" Now Pilate, seeing he was doing no good, but that a riot was breaking out, instead, took water and washed his hands in sight of the crowds, and to them said, "I am innocent of the blood of this just man; see to it yourselves." So then, the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children." Then he released Barabbas to them and had Jesus scourged and sent to them to be crucified, and his soldiers took him into the praetorium and rent his garments, all of them about him, and put on him a scarlet cloak; and placed a crown of thorns on his head and a reed in his right hand, and spoke, bending the knee before him in mockery, "Hail, king of the Jews!," they said. And they spat on him and took the reed and kept striking him about the head. And when they had mocked him, they took off the cloak and put own garments on him and led him away to be crucified. On the way, a man named Simon of Cyrene they found and forced to take the cross and carry it for him. And they went out to the Place of the Skull, Golgotha, outside Jerusalem. And they gave him to drink, wine mixed with gall, but he would not partake. And after they had crucified him, they cast lots, his garments to take, to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet, "They divided my garments among them, and upon my vesture, they cast lots." Then they sat watching over him. And they made a sign with the charges they had set against him, which said, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," and they hung it over his head. Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on his left and one on his right. Now, passers-by were jeering at him, shaking their heads and in his sight saying, "Thou who destroyest the Temple and in three days, build it again, save yourself! If thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross! And then we will bow down to you." In like manner, the chief priests, the Scribes and Elders raved, mocking him, and said, "He saved others, but himself, he cannot save! If he is the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross, and we will believe him when he does. Until then, our faith in him is lost. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now; for he said, 'I am God's Son.'" And one of the robbers crucified with him also reproached him and made fun. (FROM LUKE 24, 33-43) But Jesus, hanging nailed to the cross, remained to his mission true, and in all this said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And one of the robbers rebuked the other for abusing Jesus, and said, "Dost thou not even fear God? For we are justly left to be dead, but this man has done nothing wrong." And Jesus looked in his eyes, and said, "Amen, I say to thee, this day, thou shalt be with me in paradise." *********************** Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole land that reached until the ninth hour. But about that time, Jesus cried out in a loud speech, "Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani," - - - "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And some of the bystanders on hearing this said, "This man is calling Elias," immediately one of them ran and soaked a sponge in common wine and put it on a reed, and offered it up to Jesus to drink, but the rest said, "Let us wait, indeed, to see if Elias is coming to save him." But once again, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and with that, he gave up his spirit and died. And behold, the Temple curtain was torn from top to bottom, in two; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent, and the tombs were opened, too, and many bodies of the saints who had died, arose and walked and were seen after his resurrection by many as they left the tombs they'd been asleep in, for they were witness to this, as in the holy city, they trod. And the centurion guarding Jesus was scared and said, "Truly, he was the Son of God." And many women looked on from a distance who had followed, ministering, from Galilee; Mary Magdelene, and the mother of Joseph and James, Mary, the wife of Zebedee. PIERCED WITH A LANCE (FROM JOHN 19, 31-37) The Jews, therefore, because of the Feast, that the bodies not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, besought Pilate that the legs be broken, so the pain would hasten death and they could be removed; so the soldiers came and then they broke the legs of the two crucified with him, but found Jesus had already passed away. So they did not break his legs, but one of them took a lance and opened his side, and immediately, blood and water rushed out, and shortly, the other two died. ******************** Now when it was evening, a certain rich man of Arimathea, Joseph by name, who was himself a disciple of Christ, onto Pontius Pilate came, and asked him for the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave it to him. And he wrapped the body in linen, and laid it in a rock tomb hewn for him. Then he rolled a large stone to the entrance of the tomb, and left, but staying there were Mary Magdelene and the other Mary, sitting opposite the sepulcher. On the next day, which was one after the Day of Preparation for the Sabbath, the chief priests and Pharisees said to Pilate, "He said, 'After my death, in three days, I will arise again.' Sir, we remember how this deceiver said this while he was alive. Give orders, therefore, now that the sepulcher be guarded until the third day is done, or else his disciples may come and steal the body of this dead one, and tell the people, making things worse, 'He is risen from the dead.'" And Pilate listened to them and then, to them he said, "You have a guard, go, and guard the tomb; guard well and hard." So they went and made the sepulcher secure, sealed the stone, and set the guard. Continue Return to beginning of POeTRY