The King of Stories -- The Greater Condemnations (Part 2 of 2)

Introductory note from Jason Pratt: see here for the previous entry; and see here for the first entry of the series. (It explains what I'm doing, and how, and contains the Johannine prologue.)

This entry is the second part of what would be one of the longest chapters in a book.

The Greater Condemnations (Part 2 of 2) -- 2 days until the end

Now as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives (probably later that night while they were camping in the groves), the disciples Peter and James and John and Andrew privately came to Him, saying, "Tell us... when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your arrival [on the throne], and of the finishing of all things of the age?"

And Jesus began to say to them in answer:

"Be sure that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Anointed King', and 'The time is at hand!'--and will mislead many.

"And you will be hearing of wars, and rumors of wars--be sure that you are not frightened: for these things must occur, but yet are not the end; nor does the end follow after immediately.

"For nation will rise against nation," He continued by saying to them, "and kingdom will rise against kingdom; and there will be earthquakes in various places; also, there will be famines, and terrors and great attesting signs in the heavens.

"But all these things are only the starting of labor pains.

"Yet look to yourselves!--for then, and even before all these things, they will deliver you up to the court, into prisons and suffering... and in the synagogues you will be flogged, yet you will be brought before kings and governors to stand for My sake, as a testimony to them.

"But they will kill you.

"Yet when they arrest you and give you up, this will lead you to an opportunity for testimony. Do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but say whatever is given to you in that hour--for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

"So make up your minds not even to prepare to defend yourselves beforehand; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which none of your adversaries will be strong enough to resist or refute.

"Now at that time, many will not be able to get over all of this, and will deliver up one another and hate one another; and many false prophets will arise and mislead many.

"And because rebellion is increased, the love of many will grow cold: brother will give up his brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against their parents and put them to death.

"And all the nations will hate you because of My name.

"But--the one holding steady beneath the blows until the end, he shall be saved; and not a hair of your head will perish: by your endurance, you will gain your souls.

"A pupil is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple if he becomes as his teacher, and the slaves as his master.

"If they have called the head of the house Beezeboul ('Plunder-possessor' or a chief of bandits; a title for Satan)--how much more the members of his house!

"So, do not fear them, for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear in an ear, proclaim on the housetops!

"And do not fear those who kill the body, but haven't the strength to kill the soul; but rather, fear the One Who is strong to destroy both soul and body in the flaming waste ('Gehenna').

"Now whenever they persecute you in this city, flee to the other; for this gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the civilized lands for a witness to all the nations--and then the end shall come. Yet I tell you truly, you shall not finish (even) the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man arrives.

"Now when you see Jerusalem hemmed in by armies, then know that her desolation is at hand.

"So: when you see the 'abomination of desolation' which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing where it should not be, in the holy place,"--let the reader understand (adds the Disciple and the Follower)--"then let the ones in Judea flee to the mountains; and let the ones in the midst of the city depart, and do not allow the ones in the country to enter her (the city)--because these are the days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

"Wail for the ones with child, and for the ones nursing babies in those days! And pray your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath; for then there will be vast suffering on the earth, and wrath to this people, such as has not occurred since the world began until now, nor ever shall! And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations.

"Wherever the corpse is, there the eagles gather... and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the pagans until the times of the pagans may be fulfilled.

"Now unless those days had been cut short, no flesh would have been saved; but for the sake of the ones He has chosen, He shall cut short those days."

Yet He said to the disciples:

"The days shall come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, yet you will not see it.

"So if anyone says to you, 'Look!--the Anointed King is here!' or 'Look!--He is there!', do not believe and run after. For false Messiahs and false prophets will arise and will show great attesting signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones!

"Observe and take heed!--I have told you in advance.

"If therefore they say to you, 'See, He is in the wilderness!' do not go forth; 'See, He is in the inner rooms!', do not believe.

"For just as the lightning is coming from the east and flashes even to the west under heaven, so shall be the arrival of the Son of Man in His day! But--first He must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation...

"Now, immediately after the suffering of those days: 'The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling' from the heaven (quoting various prophets, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos and Joel...);

"there will be signs attesting in the sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among the nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves; men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the civilized lands; for the powers from the heaven will be shaken.

"And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear to them in the sky, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and then they will see the 'Son of Man arriving on clouds of the sky' (quoting Daniel's vision of one like a son of man arriving in the presence of God to inherit the regency) with power and great glory!

"And He will send forth His messengers with 'a mighty trumpet' and 'they will gather together' His chosen ones (as in Isaiah and Zechariah the prophets) from the four winds, from one side of the sky to the other--from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven!

"Now!--learn the parable from the fig tree!

"When it, or any other tree, puts forth its leaves and its branch becomes tender already, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is near; in this way, when you are seeing all these things occurring, you should also know the kingdom of God is near, at the doors! Now when these things begin to take place, stand up straight, and lift up your heads--because your redemption is drawing near!

"Truly I tell you: this generation (or race) shall not be passing away until all these things take place.

"Heaven and earth will pass away; but My words shall not be passing away.

"Yet... of that day and hour, no one knows, not the angels of heaven--nor even the Son!--but, the Father alone.

"For just as the arrival of the Son of Man, were the days of Noah; for as in those days which were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood arrived and took them all away...

" shall be the arrival of the Son of Man!

"It was the same as did happen in the days of Lot (brother of Abraham the patriarch): they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building--

"but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulphur rained from heaven, destroying them all.

"It will be just the same, on the day the Son of Man is unveiled.

"On that day, let the one on the housetop not (even) go down to bring out the things that are in his house; and let the one in the field not (even) turn back to get his cloak!

"Remember Lot's wife!--whoever seeks to keep his soul shall lose it, and whoever loses shall save it.

"I tell you, on that night there shall be two men in the field (keeping watch over their flocks, perhaps...)--one is taken, and one is left.

"There will be two men in one bed--one is taken, and one is left.

"There will be women grinding at the handmill--one is taken, and one is left."

And answering Him they said, "Where, Master!?"

And He said to them: "Where the body (is taken), there also will the eagles be gathered.

"So!--be on the alert! For you do not know which day the Lord is coming!

"Yet know this: that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on alert and would not have let his house be dug into!

"For this reason--you be ready, too! For the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you are not reckoning; like a man, away on a journey. Upon leaving his house, he is giving authority to his slaves, to each one his task; also commanding the doorguard to stay on alert.

"Therefore, be on alert! Let your belts be cinched up tight, and keep your lamps alight, and be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may instantly open (the door) to him when he comes and knocks.

"For you do not know when the Lord of the house is arriving, whether at sundown, at midnight, at cockcrow or at the sunrise--

"lest he arrives at once!... and finds you asleep.

"Happy be those slaves whom the master shall find on alert when he comes! Truly I tell you: he will gird himself and have them recline (at the feasting table), and will come up and wait on them himself!"

Now Peter said, "Master, are you addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?"

And the Lord said:

"What I say to you, I say to all: Be on alert!--that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life... and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap!

"For it will be coming, upon all those who dwell on the face of the earth.

"But keep on alert at all times, praying, in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that will soon take place, and to stand before the Son of Man!"

And He was telling them a parable, to show that at all times they ought to pray, and not to faint, saying:

"There was a judge in a certain city, who neither feared God nor respected man.

"Now there was a widow in that city, and she continued coming to him, saying: 'Give me legal protection from my adversary!'

"And for a while he refused; but after a while he said to himself,

"'I may not fear God nor respect any man, yet because this widow is bothering me, I will do her justice--lest by continually coming she gives me strikes beneath my eyes!'" (i.e. marks under the eyes from lack of sleep, as if he had been struck)
And the Lord said: "Hear the word of the unfair judge!

"Now--shall God not bring justice about for His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night? And yet, He is long-suffering over them.

"I tell you that He is speedily bringing justice for them!

"But--when the Son of Man arrives... will He find the faith upon the earth?

"Who then is the wise and trustworthy slave, whom his master puts in charge of his service to his household, to give them their food at the proper time?

"Happy be that slave whom his Lord finds doing so when he comes! Truly I tell you: he will put him in charge of all his possessions!

"But... if that evil slave says in his heart... 'My master is lingering for a long time...', and begins to beat his fellow slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk with drunkards...

"...the Lord of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect, and at an hour which he does not know...

"...and will severely scourge him (ripping him into pieces), and appoint him a place with the hypocrites--the unfaithful.

"The wailing shall be there, and the gnashing of the teeth.

"And the slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes.

"But, the one who did not know, and committed deeds worthy of flogging, will only receive a few.

"Yet from everyone who has been given much, much shall be required; and to whom they have entrusted much, of him will they ask all the more.

"The kingdom of the heavens, then, may be compared to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

"Yet five of them were foolish, but five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; yet the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.

"Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and started to sleep.

"But, at midnight there was a shout: 'Look! The bridegroom! Come out to greet!'

"Then all those virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out!'

"But the wise ones said in answer, 'Not! There won't be enough for us and you; go to the dealers and buy for yourselves instead!'

"Yet while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came. And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.

"Now later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open up for us!'

"But He answered and said...

"'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.'

"So. Be on alert... for you do not know the day nor the hour.

"For (that day is) even like a man, traveling, who calls his own slaves, and entrusts to them his possessions. And to one he gives five talantoi (the heaviest weight of silver), to another two, and to another one, each according to his own ability; and he goes on his journey.

"The one who had received the five talantoi, immediately went and traded with them, and gained five more talantoi. In the same manner, the one who had the two gained two more.

"But he who received the one went away, and dug in the ground, and hid his master's money.

"Now after a long time the master of those slaves arrived and settled accounts with them.

"And the one who had received the five talantoi came up, bringing five more talantoi, saying, 'Master, you entrusted to me five talantoi--look! I have gained five more talantoi!'

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful with a few things. I will put you in command of many things--enter into the joy of your Lord!'

"The one who had the two talantoi also came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted to me two talantoi--look! I have gained five more talantoi!'

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful with a few things. I will put you in command of many things--enter into the joy of your Lord!'

"Now the one who had received the one talanton came up and said, 'Master... I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you do not sow and gathering where you do not scatter. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talanton in the ground. Look... you have what is yours!'

"But his master answered and said to him:

"'You wicked, lazy slave!!

"'You knew I reap where I do not sow and gather where I do not scatter?! Then you ought to have put my money with the bankers, and on my arrival I would have received my own with interest!

"'So! Take the talanton away from him, and give it to the one who has ten talantoi!

"'For to everyone who is having shall more be given, and he shall have abundance; but from the one who is not having, even what he does have shall be taken away. Now cast away the worthless slave into the outer darkness.

"'There shall be wailing there, and the gnashing of the teeth.'


"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne; and all the nations will be gathered in front of Him; and He will separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the baby goats on the left.

"Then the King will say to those on His right:

"'Come here, you who are blessed of My Father! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the cosmos!

"'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me!'

"Then the fair ones will answer Him, saying: 'Lord... when did we see You hungry, and feed You; or thirsty and give You drink? And when did we see You sick or in prison and come to You?'

"And the King will answer and say to them:

"'He who receives a prophet in a prophet's name receives a prophet's reward; yet he who (even) receives a fair man in the name of a fair man, shall receive a fair man's reward!

"'And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these lowly ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I tell you: he shall not lose his reward!

"'Truly I tell you: to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these, brothers of Mine--

"'you did it to Me.'

"Then He will also speak to the ones on His left:

"'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the Fire of God (the 'pura eonian'), which has been made for the devil and for his messengers!

"'For I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'

"Then they themselves will also answer: 'Lord! When did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick or in prison, and did not give care to You?!!'

"Then He will answer them, saying:

"'Truly I tell you: to the extent that you did not do this to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'

"And these (the baby goats, the least of His flock) will go away into God's own brisk cleaning; but the fair ones, into God’s own life. (‘zoe eonian’)

"I have come to cast the Fire on the earth--O how I wish it was already kindled!!

"But--I must be baptized with a baptism... and I am so distressed until it is finished...

"Did you think that I came to grant peace on earth?

"I tell you, not!--but rather... division.

"I did not come to bring peace... but a sword...

"For from now on, five in one house will be divided, three against two, and two against three. They will be divided; 'father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law...'" (quoting the prophet Micah)


Now it happened that when Jesus had finished all these declarations, He said to His disciples,

"You know that after two days the Passover comes; and the Son of Man is delivered up for crucifixion."


At that time, the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together within the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to arrest and slay Jesus by stealth--for they were afraid of the people.

Then Satan entered into one of the Twelve, named Judas Iscariot, who went to the chief priests and officers, saying...

"What are you willing to give me?--and I will deliver him up to you."

And they were glad when they heard this, and weighed out to him thirty silver shekels and promised to give him this money.

But they were saying, "Not during the Feast!--lest a riot occur among the people!"

And he consented.

And from then on, he began to look for an opportune time to betray Him without a disturbance.

Matthew 10:17-28
Matthew 10:34-42
Matthew 24:3-51
Matthew 25:1-36
Matthew 26:1-5
Matthew 26:14-16
Mark 13:3-37
Mark 14:1-2
Mark 14:10-11
Luke 12:35-53
Luke 17:22-37
Luke 18:1-8
Luke 21:7-36
Luke 22:1-6

[Next time: The Hiding of the Bread]


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