Everyone wants to know about the end of the world. Just bring up the subject and everyone’s ears perk up. When Jesus’ disciples asked him about the end of the world, he gave them a fairly detailed answer. The answer can be found in chapters 24 and 25 of the Book of Matthew, and can be summarized in two short statements. One: it is not for you to know the time of my return. And two: whatever the time of my return is, you had better be ready.
The entirety of his explanation is called the Olivet Prophecy (because it was given on the Mount of Olives). It’s odd, but a lot of people seem to assume that the answer to the disciples’ questions was basically chapter 24—and that 24 is the Olivet Prophecy. But they’re wrong. In chapter 24, Jesus gave the disciples an overview of end-time events, and told them they have to be ready all the time because no man will know the hour or the day of his return.
Well, then comes the natural question:
What do you mean, What constitutes
be ready all the time?
being ready? How on earth does one get ready? Well, chapter 25 of Matthew—which is still a part of the Olivet Prophecy—deals with this question in three parts. He does it with three parables. And as it happens they are kingdom parables—
the kingdom of heaven is like… With such an important question at hand, let’s examine them a little closer.