Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



"Then the kingdom of heaven will be similar to ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the [bride and] groom. [Note: The picture here is that of a newly married couple returning from a festive reception to the groom's home where they continued celebrating and were welcomed by a late evening wedding party] Five of the bridesmaids were foolish and five were sensible. The foolish ones did not take enough olive oil for their lamps with them, read more.
but the sensible ones took [extra] oil in containers, along with their lamps. Now when the [bride and] groom were late [in arriving], the bridesmaids all got drowsy and fell asleep. Then at midnight someone shouted, 'Look, the [bride and] groom are here. Come on, let us go out and meet them.' Then all the bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps [i.e., removed the burnt wicks and replenished their lamps with oil]. The foolish ones said to the sensible ones, 'Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.' But the sensible ones answered, 'There might not be enough for us and you, [so] instead, you should go to the store and buy some for yourselves.' And while they were away [trying] to buy olive oil, the [bride and] groom arrived, and those who were ready [to welcome them] entered the [house where the] wedding reception [was being held] and the door was shut. After that, the other bridesmaids also came asking, 'Sir, Sir, [please] open the door for us!' But he answered them, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Therefore, you should be watchful, for you do not know the day or hour [i.e., when the Son of man will return].

"You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return]. It is like a man who left his house on a trip to another country. [Before leaving] he put his servants in charge of his affairs, giving each one a [particular] job to do, then he ordered the gatekeeper to stay alert [i.e., while he was gone]. So, be alert, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return, whether [some] evening, at midnight, at dawn, or at [mid-] morning. read more.
[Be alert], for he might come unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I am telling you, I am telling everyone. Be alert "

"Fasten your belts [i.e., get things ready], keep your lamps lit, and be like men expecting their master to return from the wedding reception, so that when he does come and knock [at the groom's house, See note on Matt. 25:1-12], they will immediately open [the door] to him. Those slaves whom their master finds being watchful when he returns are [certainly] blessed. Truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt [i.e., get things ready] and have them recline [at his dinner table] and will come and serve them. read more.
And if he comes between nine o'clock and midnight or between midnight and three o'clock in the morning and finds them being watchful, those slaves will be blessed [for doing so]. But you should realize this, if the owner of the house had known exactly when the burglar was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. So, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will return at a time when you least expect Him."

And as the crowd listened to these things, Jesus told them another parable, because He was close to Jerusalem and they assumed the kingdom of God was going to appear right away. So, He said, "A certain distinguished gentleman went to a distant country to receive a royal appointment [i.e., as king over a territory] and then return. [Note: This is the only parable of Jesus' that correlates with a known incident; that of Herod's son Archelaus going to Rome to receive from Caesar Augustus an appointment to rule over Judea, Samaria and Idumaea in So, he called ten of his slaves and gave each of them a sum of money [Note: The amount of each sum was equivalent to one hundred days of a farm laborer's pay, or about $7,000 in 1994]. [Then] he said to them, 'Invest this money until I return.' read more.
But the citizens [of his newly acquired kingdom] hated him and sent a delegation after him [i.e., to the person who appointed the gentleman king over them], saying, 'We do not want this man to rule over us.' And it happened when the gentleman returned, having received his appointment as king, that he ordered the slaves to whom he had given the [sums of] money, to report to him. He wanted to find out how much [money] they had made on their investments. So, the first one appeared in front of him, and said, 'Master, your sum of money has earned ten times more.' And the gentleman replied, 'Well done, you are a good slave. Because you have proven trustworthy over a [relatively] very small matter, you will [now] have charge over ten towns.' Then the second slave appeared, and said, 'Master, your sum of money has earned five times more.' And the gentleman said to him also, 'You [will] have charge over five towns.' Then another slave appeared and said, 'Look, master, here is your sum of money. I kept it [safely] wrapped up in a cloth, for I was afraid of you, knowing you are a hard man to deal with and that you pick up [and keep] something you did not lay down [i.e., lose], and you harvest a crop that you did not plant.' The gentleman replied to him, 'I will judge you [based] on what you [yourself] have [just] said, you evil slave. [Since] you knew that I am a hard man to deal with, picking up [and keeping] something I had not laid down, and harvesting a crop I had not planted, then why did you not deposit my money in the bank? [Then] when I returned I could have withdrawn [the original sum of money] plus interest.' Then he said to those who were standing around, 'Take the sum of money away from him and give it to the one who made ten times as much [with the original sum].' But the people said to him, 'Master, he [already] has ten times as much money [as you gave him].' [So the gentleman concluded], 'I tell you, to every person who [already] has something, [more] will be given, but from that person who has [almost] nothing, even [the little] he has will be taken away from him. But bring those enemies of mine here [i.e., the citizens. See verse 14], who did not want me to rule over them, and kill them in front of me.'"

Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. read more.
Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that 'day' [i.e., Jesus' second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. For that is the way this 'day' will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day]."


"And write [this] to the angel of the church at Sardis: These are the words of Him who has the seven Spirits of God [i.e., Jesus, who has the Holy Spirit] and the seven stars [i.e., the seven angels of the seven churches. See 1:20]: I know about your deeds, that you have a reputation for being [spiritually] alive, but you are [really] dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains [i.e., those few in the church who were trying to stay faithful], who are about to die. For I have not found [any] of your deeds to be complete before my God. So, remember how you have received and heard the message [i.e., they had eagerly accepted the Gospel]; [now] obey it and repent. For if you do not become [spiritually] alert, I will come as a thief [i.e. unexpectedly] and you will not know the [exact] time that I will come upon you [in judgment. See 2:16, 25].

"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky'] read more.
"Now learn this parable [i.e., a brief analogy to illustrate a lesson] from the fig tree: When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see all these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. [Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But no one knows when that day or hour will come. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son [of God] know [when it will happen], but only the Father [does].

Therefore, you should be watchful, for you do not know the day or hour [i.e., when the Son of man will return].

"Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. read more.
Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. But no one knows when that day or that hour will come; not even the angels in heaven or the Son of God know, but only the Father does. "You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return]. It is like a man who left his house on a trip to another country. [Before leaving] he put his servants in charge of his affairs, giving each one a [particular] job to do, then he ordered the gatekeeper to stay alert [i.e., while he was gone]. So, be alert, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return, whether [some] evening, at midnight, at dawn, or at [mid-] morning. [Be alert], for he might come unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I am telling you, I am telling everyone. Be alert "



At the end of the world it will be that same way. The angels will come and divide the sinful people from the ones who did what was right,


And [Psa. 102:25-27 says], "Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hand. They will be destroyed, but you will remain. And they [i.e., the heavens and earth] will all wear out like an article of clothing. And you will fold them up like a robe, and they will be changed like an article of clothing. But you will stay the same and your years will never end."

For then He would have had to suffer often since the creation of the world; but now at the end of the ages [i.e., the final period of world history] He has been revealed once [for all] to remove sin by sacrificing Himself.

"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign that indicates your presence and the end of the [present] age?"




For it is true when I say, not one little letter or even a portion of a letter will be removed from the law of Moses until everything is accomplished [that is required by them]. [When that happens, then] heaven and earth will pass away [i.e., be destroyed. See II Peter 3:12].


[Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But no one knows when that day or hour will come. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son [of God] know [when it will happen], but only the Father [does]. As it was during the days of Noah, so it will be when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. read more.
For in those days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking [i.e., partaking of ordinary meals], men were getting married and women were being given away in marriage [right up] until the day Noah entered the ship. And the people [i.e., of Noah's day] did not know [when it would happen] until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be the same way when the presence of the Son of man [arrives].

"But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. read more.
And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world]. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. But no one knows when that day or that hour will come; not even the angels in heaven or the Son of God know, but only the Father does. "You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return]. It is like a man who left his house on a trip to another country. [Before leaving] he put his servants in charge of his affairs, giving each one a [particular] job to do, then he ordered the gatekeeper to stay alert [i.e., while he was gone]. So, be alert, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return, whether [some] evening, at midnight, at dawn, or at [mid-] morning. [Be alert], for he might come unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I am telling you, I am telling everyone. Be alert "

Men will become despondent from fear, and from dreading the [terrible] things which will come upon the earth, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great splendor [Note: This no doubt refers to the second coming of Christ. See II Pet. 3:9-10; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 1:7]. But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads [i.e., in anticipation], for your redemption [i.e., deliverance, either from destruction or condemnation] is getting closer." read more.
Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that 'day' [i.e., Jesus' second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. For that is the way this 'day' will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day]."

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief [i.e., unexpectedly]. At that time the heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements [Note: This refers either to the heavenly bodies or to the material components of the universe], will be dissolved with intense heat. And the earth and its works [i.e., its activities] will be burned up. [Note: Some translations render this phrase as it is in some ancient manuscripts, "will be disclosed," or "will be laid bare"]. Since all these things are [certain] to be destroyed, what kind of persons should you be, [if not like those] living holy lives, and in a godly manner, [while] looking forward to, and earnestly desiring the day of God to come, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved by fire and the elements [See verse 10] will melt with intense heat. read more.
But, since God has promised it, we look forward to new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will prevail.

Then I saw a great, white throne and Him who was seated on it [i.e., probably Christ]. Earth and heaven fled from His presence and they were not found anywhere [again].



"You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return].


Therefore, you should be watchful, for you do not know the day or hour [i.e., when the Son of man will return].

"You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return].


"You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return].