“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things happening, you know that the end is near. It is right at the door. What I’m about to tell you is true. The people living now will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away. But my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Are Not Known
“But no one knows about that day or hour. Not even the angels in heaven know. The Son does not know. Only the Father knows. Remember how it was in the days of Noah. It will be the same when the Son of Man comes. In the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking. They were getting married. They were giving their daughters to be married. They did all those things right up to the day Noah entered the ark. They knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes. Two men will be in the field. One will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill. One will be taken and the other left.
“So keep watch. You do not know on what day your Lord will come. You must understand something. Suppose the owner of the house knew what time of night the robber was coming. Then he would have kept watch. He would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready. The Son of Man will come at an hour when you don’t expect him.
“Suppose a master puts one of his slaves in charge of the other slaves in his house. The slave’s job is to give them their food at the right time. The master wants a faithful and wise slave for this. It will be good for the slave if the master finds him doing his job when the master returns. What I’m about to tell you is true. The master will put that slave in charge of everything he owns. But suppose that slave is evil. Suppose he says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time.’ Suppose he begins to beat the other slaves. And suppose he eats and drinks with those who drink too much. The master of that slave will come back on a day the slave doesn’t expect him. He will return at an hour the slave does not know. Then the master will cut him to pieces. He will send him to the place where pretenders go. There people will weep and grind their teeth.
The Story of Ten Bridesmaids
“Here is what the kingdom of heaven will be like at that time. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish. Five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but didn’t take any olive oil with them. The wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps. The groom did not come for a long time. So the bridesmaids all grew tired and fell asleep.
“At midnight someone cried out, ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready. The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out.’
“ ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There may not be enough for all of us. Instead, go to those who sell oil. Buy some for yourselves.’
“So they went to buy the oil. But while they were on their way, the groom arrived. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with him to the wedding dinner. Then the door was shut.
“Later, the other bridesmaids also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’
“But he replied, ‘What I’m about to tell you is true. I don’t know you.’
“So keep watch. You do not know the day or the hour that the groom will come.