Matthew 25 is a couple parables that Jesus uses to teach some powerful lessons. The first is about the 10 virgins. Five are called wise because they came prepared by bringing along extra oil for their lamp, the other five foolish because they made no preparation. We need to be ready. There couldn’t be a much clearer way to tell us to wake up and prepare for Christ coming again. As the bridegroom approached, the five foolish virgins had a problem their “lamps are going out” and they plead for oil from the five who were prepared. The prepared didn’t have enough extra so the fools went to buy oil. But the bridegroom came and “those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut”. Did you catch that? He went in with those who were ready and shut the door. As the other five return they say “Lord, Lord, open to us” but it is too late. The door has been closed and they are on the wrong side of it. The second parable is that of the talents. Jesus shares that one servant is given five, one two and the last a single talent. The Master is gone for a while and upon return asks to see what they had done with their gifts. Of course the first two had doubled their amount, the last just returned what he had been given. Jesus says these words to the first two: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much”. Those are words we should all long to hear. We are in the same spot as these servants were. God has entrusted things to us to be stewards of during our life here on earth. We will give account one day for what we did with the things He entrusted to us. What will your story be? Have you taken the gifts, talents, money, time and every other thing God has given and used it well for Him? Will He say “well done” when you stand before Him on judgment day? Or will your story be like the last servant – who hid what he had been given in the ground and didn’t use it at all for his Master? The response to that poor guy was not positive: “cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness”. How we live matters my friends. We need to be prepared and we plan for how we will serve our Lord. And we need to use what He has given us wisely to make a difference for His Kingdom. It makes a big difference for what our eternity will look like.
Jesus clearly tells us what will happen at the end. “He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats”. That seems pretty harsh doesn’t it? Doesn’t really seem to be fair at all. But God is not about fairness, He is about justice and being true to His Word. And the time is coming when there will be a very distinct separation made. “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”. There will be one group that will inherit eternal life and spend eternity with God in heaven, and another that will be separated from God and spend eternity in hell. It doesn’t get much plainer than what Jesus tells us here. He goes on to drive home the point that how we live really matters. Check out what He says:
- “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”
Never believe that life doesn’t matter. How we live has a huge impact in our relationship with God. Jesus tells us that many will come to Him in those last days and say “Lord, when did we see you……” in one of these situations. Jesus is very clear when He responds: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”. How we live makes a huge difference. We need to live and love like Jesus. To do that we need a personal relationship with Him. The judgment won’t be about life being fair. It will absolutely be about what we did with Jesus. Are you ready?