Archive for June 7th, 2017

Matthew 25

Matthew 25 has Jesus teaching more about the end times.  He tells the story of the 10 virgins – how five took extra oil for their lamps and how the other five did not and ran out of light. There were three stages to a Jewish wedding in that day. The first was engagement – a formal agreement made by the fathers. The second was betrothal – the ceremony where mutual promises are made. The third was marriage – approximately one year later when the bridegroom came at an unexpected time for his bride.  The wedding party is waiting for the groom to show up but are caught unprepared when he came. Jesus tells them to “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour”.  We’ll not know when He is going to return, but we need to be ready for that return.

He goes on to tell the story of the three guys that were left to tend to the traveling master’s money.  He gave five talents to one, two to a second, and one to the third and asked them to take care of things.  The one with five doubled it to ten, the one with two doubled it to four, but the one with a single talent buried it and got no return.  To the first two, the master says “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”. Then the master comes to the third one.  The story isn’t as pretty then.

The master is furious that nothing was done.  Fear had paralyzed this person to the point they merely buried what they were given and had no return.  “So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away”. God gives each of us talents, skills, gifts and abilities.  But they are given to us with the intent that we’ll use them – we’ll take them and do something with them.  If we don’t, there is punishment.  Jesus says “And  cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.  We can’t just sit on what we’ve been entrusted with.  We have to take them and use them for His Kingdom.

Jesus ends the chapter reminding us that we have to treat those around us with love.  After all, that was the second most important commandment – to love our neighbors.  He sets the expectation that whenever there is an opportunity to help others, we need to step up.  “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”.  The Christian life is not lived from the sidelines.  If we are a Christ Follower, we have to be in the game and on the field.  If not, we’ll experience this reality: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”.  Jesus demands that we love those in our patch.  If we do, we truly love Him.  When we don’t, we face the outcome of that choice!

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