Tax collectors and sinners came to Jesus Christ to listen to
Him. The proud Pharisees and scribes, teachers of the Jewish people, murmured
about Jesus Christ for this and said, "He receives sinners and eats with
But Jesus Christ told several parables, which
showed that God joyfully and lovingly receives every repentant sinner. Here is
one of them.
There was a man who had two sons. The youngest
said to his father, "Father, give me the share of the property that falls
to me." The father granted the request and divided his property between
them. Not many days later, the youngest son gathered all he had and journeyed
into a far country; and there, he squandered his property in loose living. When
he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to
be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that
country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. He would gladly have eaten
the food that the swine ate, but no one gave him anything.
When he came to himself, he remembered his father,
was filled with remorse over his deed, and thought, "How many of my
father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with
hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I
have sinned against Heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called
your son; treat me as one of your hired servants’."
Thus, he did. He got up and went to his father.
But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him, and had compassion on
him, and ran, and embraced him, and kissed him.
The son said to him, "Father! I have sinned
against Heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son."
But the father said to his servants, "Bring
quickly the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes
on his feet, and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make
merry, for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is
found." And they began to make merry.
Now his elder son was in the field, and he came
and drew near to the house; he heard music and dancing. He called one of the
servants and asked what this meant. The servant said to him, "Your brother
has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has received
him safe and sound." But the elder son was angry and refused to go in. His
father came out and entreated him.
But he answered his father, "Lo, these many
years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command. Yet you never gave
me a kid that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours
came, who has devoured your living wantonly, you
killed the fatted calf for him!"
The father said to him, "Son, you are always
with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be
glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is
In this parable, the father represents God, and
the prodigal son — the repentant sinner. Resembling, the prodigal son is every
person who in his soul turns away from God and pursues his self-willed, sinful
life. By his sins, he destroys his soul and all the gifts: life, health,
strength, capabilities — which were bestowed on him by God. When the sinner
coming to himself brings to God sincere repentance with humility and hope in
His mercy, then the Lord as a compassionate Father rejoices with His angels
over the return of the sinner, forgives him all his sins as if they never have
been made, and returns to him all His mercy and gifts.
By the story about the elder son, the Saviour
teaches that all faithful Christians must with all their souls
desire salvation for everyone and rejoice over the return of the sinner not
envying the love that God gives them and not considering themselves more worthy
of God’s mercy than the one who returns to God from his former immoral life.
the Gospel of Luke 15:11-32.
Predictions of Jesus Christ about the End of the World and His
Jesus Christ made predictions about what is in
store in the future for our entire world and all the people. He has taught that
the end of the world is coming, and that the earthly existence of the human
race is going to cease. Then, He will come to earth a second time and will
resurrect all people at which time the bodies of all people will again become
joined to their souls and they will come back to life. Then, Jesus Christ will
pronounce judgement over people rendering to each according to his works.
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the
graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. And they that hear shall live
and shall come forth from their graves: they that have done good — unto the
resurrection of life; and they that have done evil — unto the resurrection of
The disciples asked, "Tell us when this will
be, and what will be the sign of Your (second) coming
and of the close of the age?" In answer, Jesus Christ forewarned them that
before His coming in glory on earth, there would occur a time of suffering for
people, such as has never occurred before from the
beginning of the world. There will be various misfortunes: famines, floods,
earthquakes and wars. Lawlessness will increase, faith will grow weak, and most
people’s love will grow cold. Many false prophets and teachers will appear, who
will seduce people and corrupt them with their ruinous, destructive teaching.
But first, the Gospel of Christ will be preached to all the corners of the
earth in witness to all people.
Before the end of the world, there will be great,
terrifying signs in the heavens. The sea will roar and be agitated. Loss of
heart and perplexity will possess people, so that they will grow faint from
fear and the expectation of disasters coming to the world. Immediately after
the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not
give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the
heavens will be shaken. Then, will appear the sign of Jesus Christ (His cross)
in the heavens. Then, all the tribes of the earth will mourn from fear of the
judgement of God, and they will see Jesus Christ coming on the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory. As lightning flashes in the heavens from the east
to the west and is immediately visible from everywhere, such visible to all
will the Son of God suddenly come.
About the day and the hour of His coming to earth
Jesus Christ did not tell His disciples. "Of that day or that hour no one
knows but only the Father," He said, and He taught to watch and always be
ready to meet the Lord.
the Gospels of John 5:24-29; Matthew 24:3-44; Mark 13:3-37; Luke 17:20-37 and
Parable of the Ten Virgins.
In order that people would always be ready to meet
the Lord, the judgement of God, which means to be ready for death since death
is the beginning of the judgement of God over men, Jesus Christ told the
parable of the ten virgins. In this parable, the Lord likens us to virgins who
had gathered for a marriage. According to Eastern wedding customs, the groom
went for his bride, who awaited him in the home of her father. Her friends,
virgins, had to meet the groom with burning lanterns in late evening, and
accompany him to the fiancée.
Then, the Kingdom
of Heaven shall be compared to ten virgins, said the Saviour, who
took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish,
and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil
with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom
was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at there was a cry, "Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to
meet him." 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 replied, "Perhaps there will not be enough
for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves." And
while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in
with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Afterward the other virgins came also, saying,
"Lord, lord, open to us."
But he replied, "Truly, I say to you, I do
not know you." After finishing this parable, the Saviour said, "Watch
therefore (always be prepared), for you know neither the day nor the hour in
which comes the Son of man."
The "foolish virgins" correspond
to those careless people who know that they have to appear at the judgement of
God but who do not prepare themselves for it while they are alive on earth,
while death has not overtaken them. They do not repent of their sins and do not
do good deeds. The "oil in the lamps" means good deeds,
especially works of mercy. The "sleep of the virgins"
represents the death of people.
Our Judge ("The Bridegroom"),
Jesus Christ, will come to earth and all the dead will awaken from the sleep of
death, that is, they will be resurrected. As death finds one, prepared or
unprepared for the judgement of God, so he has to appear before the judgement
of God. Then, careless people will not be able to look for help from anywhere,
and they will hear from Christ the bitter words, "I do not know you;
depart from Me."
the Gospel of Matthew 25:1-13.
The Parable of the Talents.
Jesus Christ told yet another parable reproving
our laziness and negligence.
The Son of man is like a man, who going on a
journey into a far country called his servants and entrusted to them his
property. To one he gave five talents, to the other — two talents, to another —
one talent, — according to an ability of each. Then, he went away.
One who had received the five talents went at once
and traded with them; and he made five talents more. Uniformly, one who had the
two talents made two talents more. But one who had received the one talent did
not want to work, and he went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
After a long time, the master of those servants
came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents
came forward bringing five talents more and saying, "Master, you delivered
to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more."
His master said to him, "Well done, good and
faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little. I will set you over
much; enter into the joy of your master."
And also, the one who had the two talents came
forward saying, "Master, you gave me two talents. Here, I have made two
His master said to him, "Well done, good and
faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over
much. Enter into the joy of your master."
Also, the one who had received one talent came
forward saying, "Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you
did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow. So I was afraid, and I
went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours."
But his master answered him, "You wicked and
slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where
I have not winnowed. Then, you ought to have invested my money with the
bankers; and at my coming, I should have received what was my own with
interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten
talents. For every one who has will be given more, and
he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be
taken away. Cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness where men will
weep and gnash their teeth."
Having told this parable, Jesus Christ exclaimed,
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
This parable means that all people receive various
gifts from God, such as life, health, strength, spiritual capacity, learning,
gifts of the Holy Spirit, the good things of life, and so on, in order to use
these gifts in the service of God and neighbour. All these are gifts of God and
are understood in the parable under the name of talents. God knows how much
each person needs, according to his ability, and therefore some people receive
more, others less. He who uses the gifts of God must give an account to God at
His second coming. He who uses them to the advantage of himself and others will
receive praise from the Lord and eternal heavenly joy, but lazy and careless
people will be condemned by the Lord to eternal suffering.
the Gospels of Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-28.
The Last Judgment.
Concerning His fearful last judgement over all
people at the time of His second coming, Jesus Christ taught the following.
When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all
the angels are with Him, then He will sit as King on the throne of His glory.
Before Him, will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate one from
another: the faithful and good from the godless and evil, — as a shepherd
separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep, the righteous, at
His right hand, but the goats or sinners — at the left.
Then, the King will say to those at his right
hand, "Come, O blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me food. I was thirsty, and you gave Me
drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed Me. I was
naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited
Me. I was in prison, and you came to Me."
Then, the righteous will answer Him, "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 welcome Thee or naked and clothe Thee? And
when did we see Thee sick or in prison and visit Thee?"
The King will answer them, "Truly, I say to
you: as you did it to one of the least of these My
brethren (for needy people), you did it to Me."
Then, He will say to those at His left hand,
"Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared 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 welcome Me; naked, and you
did not clothe Me; sick and in prison, and you did not visit Me."
Then, they also will answer, "Lord, when did
we see Thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison
and did not minister to Thee?"
But the King will answer them, "Truly, I say
to you: as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it
for Me." And they will go away into eternal
punishment, but the righteous — into eternal life.
Great and terrifying will be that day for all of us.
Therefore, this judgement is called terrible, for our deeds, words, and
our most secret thoughts and desires will be revealed to all. Then, there will
be no one to help us, for the judgement of God is just, and each will be
judged according to his deeds.