Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral virtue, and in your moral virtue,
knowledge ;

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Matthew Chapter 25

This chapter is a continuation of the discussion that Jesus was having with His disciples.We find out in Mark 14:1 and Matthew 26:1, that at this point Jesus only had 2 more days to walk the earth as a man. Remember that from Matthew 21 thru Matthew 28, only one week of time transpires. Jesus is still working to get the disciples prepared for what was coming. 

Jesus starts this chapter with the parable of the 10 virgins. In Chapter 24, He spends the time urging the diciples be ready. He gives a list of things to look for that will take place before His glorious appearing, which He describes to them in  Matt.24:29-31, but His clear emphasis was on being ready because "No one knows the day or the hour" (Matt.24:36 and 42). He now goes on to describe people who think that they are ready, but sadly, are not.

 Starting in Matt. 25:1, He speaks of virgins who were attendants at a wedding. All of the virgins had lanterns. They took the lanterns and went out to meet the bridegroom. In verse 25: 2 we are told that five were foolish and five were wise. Verse 3 says that the foolish took no oil with them to replenish their lamps. Verse 4, but the wise took oil in flasks, along with their lamps.

I think that it is significant that we are told right away that the 5 with no oil were foolish and the others were wise. There seemed to be no question that the amount of oil the foolish five had, was not going to be sufficient to last until the bridegroom arrived. The wise virgins knew this and were prepared. They knew what was going to be required to be ready to meet the bridegroom . The foolish 5 thought  they knew what they needed to be ready, but they didn't. 
Verse 5 "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep" Verse 25:6, says that at midnight there was a shout to come out and meet the bridegroom. (this was the point in time when they were supposed to accompany the bride to her wedding) 
 Verse 25:7 "then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. In verse 8, the foolish ask the wise for some of the oil in their flasks because their lamps would not stay lit. Without more oil, they would  not be ready for the coming of the bridegroom. The wise virgins  tell them that they have to go get their own oil. (25:9) And of course, while they were going to buy oil, the bridegroom comes and the doors are shut. When the virgins come back it is too late. They bang on the door saying, Lord, Lord, open up to us. Verse 25:12 says, But, he answered and said" Truly I say to you, I do not know you."

Remember, this was a continuation of a conversation that Jesus was having with the disciples in chapter 24. There IS NO BREAK IN THE CONVERSATION. So after Jesus had made the point to His disciples that they needed to be ready because "no one knows the day or the hour", He makes two more important points to them. He speaks of the virgins who do not have the oil to be ready when the bride groom comes. The foolish virgins are people who say that they are Christians but their lives do not seem to profess Christ. I have had many people tell me that they are Christians.  They tell me that they have been relatively good and do not believe that they need to be born again. They are not into the "over the top, fanatical Christian stuff." They will meet the bridegroom and wait to see what happens. (read Prov. 13:9) 

I do not think that these are Christians who have let themselves run out of grace or the Holy Spirit as some commentators teach. I think that the virgins are people who think that they are going to heaven when they die, but, they don't know Jesus. Therefore they will not ready when He returns and Jesus Himself will say that He doesn't know them.   

READ LUKE 13:22-29 AND MATT. 7:21-23

In the next passage, Matt. 25:14-29, He is speaking to the disciples about the things that are entrusted to us by God. Do not get caught up in trying to compare God to the wicked land owner and do not give too much attention to the amount of talents that were given to each individual slave. Focus on what the Lord was teaching the disciples (and us). He was teaching them that we are to be about doing God's work. Using all of the gifts, talents and callings He puts on our lives. The important part of this teaching is the motivation and faithfulness of each slave, not the amount that they increased the master's money  or how much was given to them. When the master returned his praise was for their goodness and faithfulness (25:21)." Well done, good and faithful servant"

Pray to be good and faithful in all that the Lord has called you to. Do not be fooled. He is calling you to something!! Get on your knees. That is where you will hear His voice. That is where He can break your heart with the things that break His heart. Beware,  if you ignore the call He has spoken into your life, you will get better and better at not hearing what He's calling you to do. 

My husband and I adopted two hard to place girls from the state because the Lord kept calling and putting it on our hearts to take in children without permanent families. We were in our 40's when we got our girls. One Sunday ,I was speaking to a woman who was visiting our church ,with her husband, from another state. She met our youngest daughter  and I explained that she had been a foster child and we adopted her. The woman said that she felt that the Lord had put it on her heart to take in children that needed a home but that she could not see how that could happen in their lives because  they "paddled". She was speaking of going down rivers in canoes and "paddling" down the river. I was so surprised by what she said that I didn't have an answer for her. The importance of the eternal had passed her by and the voice of the Lord calling her to help the fatherless, was lost in the noise of a beloved hobby.

The last part of this chapter is different from the 2 parables that we just talked about. Matt. 25:31-46 is not a parable. It is Jesus talking about when He will return and sit in Judgement of all nations. I do not want to go into too much detail about this passage. I want to simply say that we need to look at the overall emphasis of what Jesus is talking about. He is again talking about His people being about doing His work. He speaks of feeding and clothing, visiting and caring for strangers. He is asking His disciples (and us) to care about and love other people the way He cared and loved as He walked the earth. 

This is my poem for:

Matthew 24 and 25

Look up
Be ready
I will come like lightening to gather you to be with Me
Do not be fooled
I will come
Be ready
Be born again
Be faithful
Be obedient
Be diligent
Be kind and loving
Be with Me forever 

So, to remember Chapter 25 we are going to 
remember the number 25.  10 virgins + 15 talents=25,
so remember 25, 10 virgins 15 talents =25, chapter 25.
Hopefully this will help you remember where these two parables are located in the bible, Matthew 25.
The point of this blog is to help you remember what you have read in your bible. Keep practicing your memory tools. There are many things that you will be able to find easily in the book of Matthew as you work on your memory tools. We are almost to the end of this book. We are almost ready to celebrate!!! I pray that God uses you in a mighty way to bless others with your remembrance of His word. 

Practice as you go to sleep at night. Practice as you sit at a stop light or wait at the grocery store. The key is to read the chapter you are studying, over and over again until the Lord speaks to you and imprints it on your heart. There is no hurry.....

God bless you sweet ladies! I am praying for all of you.


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