March 23 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 58
There are 10 days left in our chronological study of Jesus’ life. What a journey it has been as we’ve set our eyes on following Jesus for the last three months! The saddest and most joyful parts are yet to come. Starting tomorrow and for the rest of this week, we will be reading about the Last Supper through Jesus’ arrest and trial.
God, please help us prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday!
READ: Matthew 25
The three parables that Matthew writes about in this chapter are unique to his gospel but continue Jesus’ conversation about the end days that we focused on in last week’s readings. Each one tells about the coming Kingdom of Heaven and what it will be like.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like 10 virgins. Say what?! This parable is a little odd to me so I want to understand the symbolization first before I get caught up in taking it at face value. This parable is describing what the return of Jesus will be like; He is our Savior and is the bridegroom in this parable. Note and take heart–He takes a long time to come back (vs. 5)! The five virgins who have oil for their lamps are those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, while the five virgins who don’t have oil for their lamps are those who missed the boat so to speak and were not ready for His return because they had not believed. Overall, the theme of this parable is in verse 13: “’Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.’” Remember this verse! This whole not knowing the day or the hour is huge in discerning false prophets and deceptions as Jesus describes will happen in Matthew 24:23-25. Also, be ready! It doesn’t seem like those sleeping virgins were ready, but five of them were. Why? Because they were ready to go to eternal life with their Savior, by having the lamp and oil ready to go at their bedside. Now, how does this apply to us being ready to go? Check out Titus 2:11-14 which sums up our salvation pretty well, this is our lamp and oil by the bedside: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” If we have accepted God’s grace, we fall somewhere in this verse; God’s grace makes sure of it.
My Bible notes that our definition of “talent” has its origins with the parable in verses 14-30. In the parable, a talent is a valuable sum of money worth about two years’ wages. Two of the men invest their talents to produce more, while the third man does nothing with his talent. Our talents are a gift from God. He has given them to us to use in glorifying Him more, so that others would look at us using our talents and be pointed directly to God. He does not want our talents to not be used. What talents has God given you? Are you using those talents to glorify God?
Looking for something fun to do with your kids today that ties into our reading? A friend from a church I attended several years ago wrote a kids book based on the sheep and goat parable from 25:31-46. You can find the book here: http://www.sheepandgoat.org/Read-The-Book.html. Then you can go around this week “baa”-ing to your kids when they show others love or “maa”-ing to your kids when not so much love is being shown. Hopefully they don’t “maa” back at you!
I don’t want to dismiss this sheep and goat parable quite yet, because there’s a powerful message here. So, here’s some more “fodder” to check out, te-he, from Audio Adrenaline and the orphans in Haiti: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WDGYYGNX
Maybe God’s not calling you to adopt, but I’m pretty sure He’s calling you to serve in some way, to use Your talents to glorify Him and gain more for His Kingdom. “If not us, who will be like Jesus to the least of these?”
You want us to live our lives ready for Your return, not to say, “Wait a minute, there’s someone I forgot to forgive,” or “Wait a minute, there’s something You told me to do that I haven’t done yet,” but to say, “I’m ready; take me!”
God, help me be ready at all times for Your return, to say NO to ungodliness and worldly passions, to live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life, to use the talents You have given me to glorify You, and to serve the “least of these”. Thank You for loving me and teaching me!
Posted on March 23, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Bible, Bible Study, chronological gospels, end times, gospel, grace, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Matthew, parable, SOAP. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.