Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Parables of the Judgement

Because he had just been asked about the end times, Jesus is still on the subject in chapter 25 of Matthew. Now he is focusing on teaching about being prepared for the judgement.
 In the parable of the ten virgins (v1-13) there were ten virgins waiting on the bridegroom for the wedding. Five were wise and five were foolish. They all brought their lamps with them, but the 5 wise girls brought extra oil for their lamps; the foolish ones did not. While they were waiting on the bridegroom, they all slept. At midnight they heard the call: the bridegroom is coming! In trimming their lamps, the foolish ones realize they don't have enough oil so they ask the others to let them have some. The wise girls refuse, concerned they might not have enough to share. Go buy some, they tell the others.
  While the foolish girls were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived and took the remaining virgins into the marriage. The door was shut. When the foolish virgins came back, they pounded on the door, begging to be let in. The bridegroom came to them and told them, depart, I don't know you.
 v13. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

In the Parable of the talents (v 14-30) a business man preparing to go to another country called his servants together and gave them his money. To one he gave ten talents, to another he gave two talents, and to the third servant he gave one talent. 
  While the master was gone both the servant with 5 talents and the one with 2 talents used the time to double their money. The third servant was afraid and dug a hole and buried his talent. A long while later the master came home and called his servants to him. The first servant came to him and said You gave me five talents, and I earned you 5 more. The master was well pleased. Well done, he said. You have been faithful over a few things, now you will be ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.
 The second servant came in and had a similar report. You gave me two talents, and I used it to gain you two more. Again the master was pleased. 
 The third servant came in but of course he didnt have the same good news to tell. He began to make excuses. He knew what kind of man his master was, gaining where he hadn't put seed, yet he had been afraid and hid the talent. But he still had the one talent given him.
  The master was angry. You wicked and lazy servant! You should have taken my money to the bank, where I could have gotten back what was mine, with interest! Give the talent to the man with ten talents.  The wicked servant was thrown into outer darkness.
  We all have been given talents from the Lord, to be used for him. Whether it be writing, talking with the lonely, sending cards, teaching, giving encouragement, there are things we can do to bring others to Christ and to help those already in the kingdom. Don't bury your talent in the ground, ladies!
 Jesus then describes the judgement as his sitting on his throne of glory, and the people of all nations gathered together. The people shall be separated like sheep from the goats as a shepherd would do. The sheep on the right, goats on the left.
  To those on his right Jesus will say : Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
  I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was naked and you clothed me. I was a stranger and you took me in. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to see me.
 The people on the right asked Lord, when did we do any of these things to you?
 Jesus replied "Whenever you did any of these things to anyone else, you did it to me."
  To the ones on the left he will say  Depart from me into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.. I was hungry and you did not feed me. I was thirsty and you didn't give me drink. I was naked and you did not clothe me. I was a stranger and you didn't take me in. I was sick and in prison and you didn't come visit me.
 They will say when did we not do those things to you? And he will answer, When you do not do these things to others, you don't do these things to me.
  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.
  So we must be prepared, use our talents for good, and take care of one another.   

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