An Evening on the Mount of Olives.
Jesus and His friends went out from the Temple and Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives, and as they looked back upon the beautiful buildings of marble and gold that made the Temple seem like a great jewel shining in the sunset, the disciples turned to Jesus and spoke of it, but He said,

"There shall not be left here one stone that shall not be thrown down."

They sat down on the slope of Olivet where the olive and fig-trees were putting forth their new leaves, and in that quiet time Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew drew close about their beloved Master, and said, "Tell us, when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?" He told them many things hard to be understood; of the sorrows of Israel when their city should be destroyed, and the people scattered; of the end of the age, when they should turn to the Lord they had rejected, and of His coming to the whole world.

"Watch, therefore," He said, "for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come," and He told them of the faithful and the unfaithful servants; that the one was found doing his duty when his lord returned, and was made ruler over all his goods, but the other, unfaithful in all things, was surprised by his lord's coming and cast out.

He told them another beautiful "watching" story of the Ten Virgins who went forth with their little lamps to meet the bridegroom on his way to the marriage feast. Five of them took oil to fill their lamps, and five took no oil with them. The bridegroom was long in coming, and they all fell asleep; but at midnight there was a cry, "Behold the bridegroom cometh! go ye out to meet him!" Then they all arose and trimmed their lamps, but five of the lamps had gone out, and the foolish maids who brought no oil to fill them begged it of the others, but they were told that they must go and buy it of those who had it to sell. While they went to buy the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. Afterward, when the five thoughtless ones came to the door crying, "Lord, Lord, open to us!" they only heard the answer, "I know you not."

After this He told them the story of the Talents, which you may read in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew. It is the Lord's teaching to all disciples about making the most of the life He gives us.

His last story was a picture of the gathering of the nations, and the separation of the good and the true from the false and the evil. The King's call to the good, "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," carried with it a strange reason. "For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me."

Then the good whom He had called were astonished, and cried, "Lord, when saw we thee an hungered and fed thee? or thirsty, a stranger, sick, or in prison?" and He answered, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." To the false and the evil He could not say these things, but quite the opposite; and when they wondered when they had seen the Lord hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and had not ministered unto Him, He said, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." Those by a life of love and service had chosen eternal life, but these by a life of selfishness had chosen death.

chapter xxxvii the last words
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