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The Prepared And The Unprepared
Matthew chapter twenty-five provides Bible students with three different looks at the prepared and the unprepared. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins, the parable of the talents, and the judgment scene all picture some that were prepared and some that had every opportunity to prepare but still remained unprepared.
God has given each of us talents that we should use to His glory. If we fail to use those talents they will be taken from us. If we have anything in our hand we must give it to God so that He can bless it and bless us. This is necessary if we are to be prepared for final judgment.
The prepared and the unprepared virgins Mat_25:1-13 : The primary subject this chapter has to do with is the final judgment. Matthew 24 ended with the need to be prepared for the sudden and unexpected return of the Lord. The parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins continues that emphasis of preparation for the coming of the Messiah. In this section five foolish and thoughtless virgins were set in contrast against five wise and sensible virgins. The kingdom of heaven is like unto all "ten" virgins. Of the ten virgins, only the five wise ones were taken to the wedding. The foolish ones were not. Jesus used this story of a wedding taking place to teach some great lessons concerning His kingdom.
The point of Jesus' parable is very clear. Only those that are prepared for the bridegroom's coming will participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb. Those that are unprepared will be left outside. The only difference between the five wise and the five foolish virgins was their preparation. In the parable five virgins were wise and they made the necessary preparation and even went the extra mile. Five other virgins tried to get by on the very minimum. "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them." ( Mat_25:3 ) It was in contrast to this spirit of doing only the minimum that the godly attitude of the wise virgins’ shines forth. "The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." ( Mat_25:4 ) The wise are simply those that are prepared for Christ’s coming.
Many want to go to heaven attending only a minimum number of services, giving only a minimum amount of money and time, teaching and visiting only the minimum. These that try to get by on the minimum will find the door to heaven shut just as did the foolish virgins. "While they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut." ( Mat_25:10 ) What about you? Are you wise or foolish? Are you prepared or unprepared?
The servants that used their talents Mat_25:14-23 : Jesus wanted us to understand what readiness means so He taught a great lesson about two men that used the talents of money that their master had put into their hands, and about one that failed to do so. "He who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also." ( Mat_25:16-17 ) The result of using what had been given is stated in Mat_25:21 . "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."
Those that use what God puts into their hands are upright, honorable and faithful. What has God put into your hands? Has He put a car, a house, some money, a pen, an envelope, a family member or a friend into your hand? The delay of our Lord's second coming should cause an increased appreciation for opportunities of evangelism, worship, and service that this delay offers believers. Are you a faithful servant that is using your talents for God?
The servant that did not use his talent Mat_25:24-30 : The man that did not use what God put into his hands is one of the most condemned men in the entire Bible. "You wicked and lazy servant... take the talent from him... cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." ( Mat_25:26-30 ) "Being ready" when the master comes consists not only of keeping pure but also of active and faithful service that produces good results.
What the unfaithful servant had was taken from him and given to the servant that had ten talents. The master said, "Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath." Those that are faithful in God's service will have more opportunities for service and blessing. Those that are unfaithful will loose the blessings that they earlier had. Use what God puts into your hands for His glory or stand condemned before your Marker!
The prepared and unprepared among the people Mat_25:31-46 : In this portion of scripture the Lord contrasted the saved and the lost. "These will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." ( Mat_25:46 ) Observe the following facts about the judgment. (1) The Son of man will be the judge. (2) All nations will be gathered before Him. (3) A separation will take place. A separation from God in life because of sin leads to a separation from the righteous in eternity. ( Isa_59:1-2 ) (4) The basis of judgment will include little things that we all could have done and should have done. The prepared will hear the words, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." ( Mat_25:34 ) The unprepared will hear the words, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." ( Mat_25:41 )
Each of these parables is designed to teach the immanent return of Christ. He could come soon, or His return could be a long time away. However, one thing is certain. Jesus is coming again. The uncertainty of the time of the Lord's coming motivates us to live our lives in such a way as to stay prepared for eternity. We need to live and work like the Lord is going to be back any minute. We will be rewarded according to what we have done while the Master is away.
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 25". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany