Today I was reading and thinking through Matthew chapter 25. Its a sobering chapter, with sobering truths spoken by Jesus just after (in chapter 24) he talks about the end times.
In Matthew 25 are three parables on the return of Jesus. Since this is after his talk on the end days, Jesus is clearly stressing something very important by telling three different parables that tie to the single truth of his return.
All three parables are based on a note of confusion regarding different aspects of the return of Jesus. It is an urgent word to us from the king himself, who is returning soon.
Ten bridesmaids: confusion on the timing of the return. The essence of preparedness is the ability to wait until the time of the return of the bridegroom.
Three servants: confusion regarding the true character of the master. The parable focuses on what faithfulness should, or should not, look like in the time that remains until the return.
Sheep and the goats: confusion on the Day of Judgment, with a critical lesson of being in the fold by relationship not the things that we do. This last parable is interesting because both groups were confused. The righteous didn’t know they were “serving” Jesus (they were unaware).
Father, thank you that through trials you give clarity in at least one area of life, being more expectant of your return! Everything else may be foggy and dark, but you have brought to the forefront, a longing for you and your return. Give me the ability to wait by looking and living in light of your imminent return. Work in me a faithfulness that can only come from you, through you, so that my life honors you and reflects the truth that you are coming back. Change my heart so that I will live and serve with pure motives, to the point when I am unaware so that I do not promote self, but you. I ask these three things because honestly, I am not there and I cannot make any of those things happen in my heart.
Three thoughts today that uphold me…
- It is a very wonderful thing to be in relationship with One who is not only the ultimate source of wisdom, but who also lovingly uses that wisdom to guide, protect and care for me every day. Thank you Jesus!
- To be loved by One whose grace is greater than all my sin, weaknesses and failures is the best blessing of all. Jesus, keep amazing me!
- The patience of my Lord is everlasting, his love is boundless, his mercies are new every morning, what more could you want? Keep my eyes fixed on you!