Contemporary English Version
The Temple Will Be Destroyed
24 After Jesus left the temple, his disciples came over and said, “Look at all these buildings!”
2 Jesus replied, “Do you see these buildings? They will certainly be torn down! Not one stone will be left in place.”
Warning about Trouble
3 (A) Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him in private and asked, “When will this happen? What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?”
4 Jesus answered:
Don't let anyone fool you. 5 Many will come and claim to be me. They will say they are the Messiah, and they will fool many people.
6 You will soon hear about wars and threats of wars, but don't be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn't the end. 7 (B) Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. People will starve to death, and in some places there will be earthquakes. 8 But this is just the beginning of troubles.
9 (C) You will be arrested, punished, and even killed. Because of me, you will be hated by people of all nations. 10 Many will give up and will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will come and fool a lot of people. 12 Evil will spread and cause many people to stop loving others. 13 (D) But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved. 14 When the good news about the kingdom has been preached all over the world and told to all nations, the end will come.
The Horrible Thing
15 (E) Someday you will see that “Horrible Thing” in the holy place, just as the prophet Daniel said. Everyone who reads this must try to understand! 16 If you are living in Judea at that time, run to the mountains. 17 (F) If you are on the roof[a] of your house, don't go inside to get anything. 18 If you are out in the field, don't go back for your coat. 19 It will be a terrible time for women who are expecting babies or nursing young children. 20 And pray that you won't have to escape in winter or on a Sabbath.[b] 21 (G) This will be the worst time of suffering since the beginning of the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again. 22 If God doesn't make the time shorter, no one will be left alive. But because of God's chosen ones, he will make the time shorter.
23 Someone may say, “Here is the Messiah!” or “There he is!” But don't believe it. 24 False messiahs and false prophets will come and work great miracles and signs. They will even try to fool God's chosen ones. 25 But I have warned you ahead of time. 26 (H) If you are told the Messiah is out in the desert, don't go there! And if you are told he is in some secret place, don't believe it! 27 The coming of the Son of Man will be like lightning that can be seen from east to west. 28 (I) Where there is a corpse, there will always be vultures.[c]
When the Son of Man Appears
29 (J) Right after those days of suffering,
“The sun will become dark,
and the moon
will no longer shine.
The stars will fall,
and the powers in the sky[d]
will be shaken.”
30 (K) Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man.[e] All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 At the sound of a loud trumpet, he will send his angels to bring his chosen ones together from all over the earth.
A Lesson from a Fig Tree
32 Learn a lesson from a fig tree. When its branches sprout and start putting out leaves, you know summer is near. 33 So when you see all these things happening, you will know the time has almost come.[f] 34 I can promise you that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all this happens. 35 The sky and the earth won't last forever, but my words will.
No One Knows the Day or Time
36 No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don't know, and the Son himself doesn't know.[g] Only the Father knows. 37 (L) When the Son of Man appears, things will be just as they were when Noah lived. 38 People were eating, drinking, and getting married right up to the day the flood came and Noah went into the big boat. 39 (M) They didn't know anything was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. This is how it will be when the Son of Man appears.
40 Two men will be in the same field, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. 41 Two women will be together grinding grain, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. 42 So be on your guard! You don't know when your Lord will come. 43 (N) Homeowners never know when a thief is coming, and they are always on guard to keep one from breaking in. 44 Always be ready! You don't know when the Son of Man will come.
Faithful and Unfaithful Servants
45 Who are faithful and wise servants? Who are the ones the master will put in charge of giving the other servants their food supplies at the proper time? 46 Servants are fortunate if their master comes and finds them doing their job. 47 You may be sure a servant who is always faithful will be put in charge of everything the master owns. 48 But suppose one of the servants thinks the master won't return until late. 49 Suppose this evil servant starts beating the other servants and eats and drinks with people who are drunk. 50 If that happens, the master will surely come on a day and at a time when the servant least expects him. 51 This servant will then be punished and thrown out with the ones who only pretended to serve their master. There they will cry and grit their teeth in pain.
- 24.17 roof: In Palestine the houses usually had a flat roof. Stairs on the outside led up to the roof, which was made of beams and boards covered with packed earth.
- 24.20 in winter or on a Sabbath: In Palestine the winters are cold and rainy and make travel difficult. The Jewish people were not allowed to travel much more than a kilometer on the Sabbath. For these reasons it was hard for them to escape from their enemies in the winter or on a Sabbath.
- 24.28 Where there is a corpse, there will always be vultures: This saying may mean that when anything important happens, people soon know about it. Or the saying may mean that whenever something bad happens, curious people gather around and stare. But the word translated “vulture” also means “eagle” and may refer to the Roman army, which had an eagle as its symbol.
- 24.29 the powers in the sky: In ancient times people thought that the stars were spiritual powers.
- 24.30 And there will be the Son of Man: Or “And it will be the Son of Man.”
- 24.33 the time has almost come: Or “he (that is, the Son of Man) will soon be here.”
- 24.36 and the Son himself doesn't know: These words are not in some manuscripts.
Contemporary English Version
A Story about Ten Young Women
25 (A) The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten young women took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom.[a] 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. 4 The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps.
5 The groom was late arriving, and the young women became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, “Here's the groom! Come to meet him!”
7 When the women got up and started getting their lamps ready, 8 the foolish ones said to the others, “Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out.”
9 Those who were wise answered, “There's not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves.”
10 While the foolish ones were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The five who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. 11 (B) Later the others returned and shouted, “Sir, sir! Open the door for us!”
12 But the groom replied, “I don't even know you!”
13 So, my disciples, always be ready! You don't know the day or the time when all this will happen.
A Story about Three Servants
14 (C) The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all he owned. 15 The man knew what each servant could do. So he handed 5,000 coins to the first servant, 2,000 to the second, and 1,000 to the third. Then he left the country.
16 As soon as the man had gone, the servant with the 5,000 coins used them to earn 5,000 more. 17 The servant who had 2,000 coins did the same with his money and earned 2,000 more. 18 But the servant with 1,000 coins dug a hole and hid his master's money in the ground.
19 Some time later the master of those servants returned. He called them in and asked what they had done with his money. 20 The servant who had been given 5,000 coins brought them in with the 5,000 that he had earned. He said, “Sir, you gave me 5,000 coins, and I have earned 5,000 more.”
21 “Wonderful!” his master replied. “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!”
22 Next, the servant who had been given 2,000 coins came in and said, “Sir, you gave me 2,000 coins, and I have earned 2,000 more.”
23 “Wonderful!” his master replied. “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!”
24 The servant who had been given 1,000 coins then came in and said, “Sir, I know that you are hard to work for. You harvest what you don't plant and gather crops where you haven't scattered seed. 25 I was frightened and went out and hid your money in the ground. Here is every single coin!”
26 The master of the servant told him, “You are lazy and good-for-nothing! You know I harvest what I don't plant and gather crops where I haven't scattered seed. 27 You could have at least put my money in the bank, so I could have earned interest on it.”
28 Then the master said, “Now your money will be taken away and given to the servant with 10,000 coins! 29 (D) Everyone who has something will be given more, and they will have more than enough. But everything will be taken from those who don't have anything. 30 (E) You are a worthless servant, and you will be thrown out into the dark where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain.”
The Final Judgment
31 (F) When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. 32 The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.
33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. 35 (G) When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, 36 and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me.”
37 Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, “When did we give you something to eat or drink? 38 When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear 39 or visit you while you were sick or in jail?”
40 The king will answer, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.”
41 Then the king will say to those on his left, “Get away from me! You are under God's curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me.”
44 Then the people will ask, “Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?”
45 The king will say to them, “Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me.”
46 (H) Then Jesus said, “Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life.”
- 25.1 to meet the groom: Some manuscripts add “and the bride.” It was the custom for the groom to go to the home of the bride's parents to get his bride. Young women and other guests would then go with them to the home of the groom's parents, where the wedding feast would take place.