Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Parables on the Mount of Olives

Matthew xxiv: 1, to xxv: 46; Mark xiii: 1 to 37, Luke xxi: 5 to 38.

dropcap image FTER Jesus had spoken his last words to the people and their rulers, he walked out of the Temple with his disciples. As they were passing through the great gates on the east of the Temple the disciples said to Jesus, "Master, what a splendid building this is! Look at these great stones in the foundation!"

Jesus answered his disciples, "Do you see these great walls? The time is coming when these buildings shall be thrown down; when not one stone that you are looking upon shall be left in its place; when the very foundations of this house and this city shall be torn up!"

These words filled the followers of Jesus with the deepest sorrow, for they loved the Temple and the city of Jerusalem, as all Jews loved it, and to them it all seemed the ruin of the whole world. Yet they believed the words of their Master, for they knew that he was a prophet, whose words were sure to come to pass, and that he was more than a prophet, even the son of God. They walked with Jesus down into the valley of the brook Kedron, and up the slopes of the Mount of Olives. On the top of the mountain they looked down upon the Temple and the city; and then some of the disciples said to Jesus:

"Master, tell us when shall these dreadful things be? Give us some sign, that we may know when they are coming."

Then Jesus sat down with his disciples on the mountain and told them of many things that were to come upon the city and the world; how wars should arise, and earthquakes and diseases should break forth; how enemies were to come and fight against Jerusalem, and destroy it and scatter its people; and how trouble should arise upon all the earth. And he told them that he would sometime come again, as the Lord of all; and that all who believe in him should watch, and be ready to meet him. Then he gave the Parable of "The Ten Young Women." This was the story:

"There were ten young women who were going out one night with their lamps in their hands to meet a wedding party. Five of these young women were wise, and five were foolish. Those that were foolish took with them their lighted lamps, but had no more oil than that which was in the lamps; but each of the wise young women carried also a bottle of oil. It was night, and while they were waiting for the bridal party they all fell asleep. At midnight they were all awaked by the sudden cry, 'The bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet him!'

"Then all the young women rose up, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish ones said, 'Let us have some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'

"But the other young women said, 'Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you too; go to those who sell, and buy oil for yourselves.'

"The young women who had no oil went away to buy; and while they were away the bridal party came, and those that were ready went in with them to the feast; and then the door was shut. And afterward the other young women came, knocking on the door, and calling out, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!'

"But he said, 'I do not know you.'

"And he would not open the door. Watch, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour when your Lord will come."


The coming of the bridegroom

Jesus also gave to his disciples another parable or picture of what shall come to pass at the end of the world. He said:

"When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the angels of God shall come with him, then he shall sit on his glorious throne as King. And before him shall be brought together all the people of the world; and he shall divide them, and make them stand apart, just as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. And he shall put his sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left. Then the King shall say to those on his right hand, 'Come, ye, whom my Father has blessed; come, and take the kingdom which God has made ready for you. For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me into your home; I was naked, and you gave me clothes; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.'

"Then all those on the right of the King will say:

" 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and feed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked and gave thee clothes? And when did we see thee sick, or in prison, and come to thee?'

"And the King shall answer, and shall say to them:

" 'Inasmuch as you did it to one of these my brothers, even the very least of them, you did it to me.'

"Then the King shall turn to those on his left hand, and shall say to them:

" 'Go away from me, ye cursed ones, into the everlasting fire which has been made ready for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you did not open your doors to me; I was naked, and you gave me no clothes; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.'

"Then shall they answer him:

" 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not help thee?'

"And the King shall say to them:

" 'Inasmuch as you did it not to one of these the least of my brothers, you did it not to me.'

"And the wicked shall go away to be punished forever; but the righteous unto everlasting life."

After these words, Jesus went with his disciples again to Bethany.


They took the unfaithful servant away