Matthew 25 - read it here.
As I reflected on this passage, I thought of how we, as Americans, have become so focused on the stock market, foreign markets like oil and gas, our banking systems, the Federal Reserve, etc. Many of us have come to see how these not only effect our investments, but our larger economy. We have increasingly made our political, military, and judicial decisions based on the impact we hope they will make on our economy.
Jesus changes the tables on how we should look at preparedness and investment when we read these parables. These carry at least two important warnings; we need to be ready at all times for an eventual meeting with the “Bridegroom” and part of our preparedness is having invested what we have been given faithfully.
As we consider our careers and families, it is natural to think about and plan for how our needs will be met. Will we have retirement income and if so, how much? Will we have family to support us and if not, who will? Jesus reminds of here of a much more important question, will we have “oil in our lamps” when it comes time to meet Jesus? Throughout scripture, oil has been a metaphor for the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
The only way to be prepared for what matters in life and death, is first, to repent from trying to save ourselves and to receive the free gift of salvation purchased by Jesus himself. The second is similar.
In my previous readings of this chapter, I have failed to see the connection of the first two parables and the last passage on separating “sheep and goats”. As matter of habit or culture, I tend to assume that the work/investment God has given me is religious activity: evangelism, Bible study, church, and similar duties. However, one of the defining metrics Jesus will use in revealing who are and who are not His sheep, will be whether we fed, clothed, and visited the “least of these”, His brothers. How am I and how are we at investing our time and money in this? - Ben Deibel
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