Matthew 24:45-25:13 Warning for the Unprepared

 

Who then is the faithful and wise Servant that has been set over the House?

To have slaves or servants was different than what many of us think of today. People became property of others when they could not pay back their debts to them. There was no filing for bankruptcy so they had to work off what they owed. It was not uncommon for servants to own servants, have land, and even be able to buy other property.  Slaves were Doctors, teachers, accountants or other skills that would be used by the owner for the owners benefit.

To have many Servants was a sign of great wealth and so it was prestigious to have as many as one could. There were even some Servants that their entire job was to do the hair of the owners or even to just set tables.

Faithful Servant: One who used their talents for the sake of the owner

Wise Servant: One who understands what the Master wants and carries it out.

We all have gifts to use for God’s Kingdom and God has given you those gifts to be used for Him while we wait on Him to return.

Blessed is that servant whose Master finds him doing this when He comes back.

The idea goes back to a master who went away for a time to come back and see His servant had carried out everything the master wanted. It is how the servant is caught when the Master returns un-  expectantly.  Many people want to be blessed by God but they do not want to carry out the will of God.

I tell you the truth; he will place him in charge of all he possesses

I tell you the truth: a statement that was used for Jesus to show that He wanted them to understand this truth.

As we are faithful to do what God has called us to do He will give us even more responsibility.  Many believe this is not just for eternal rewards but also rewards here on earth. As we are faithful to do what God has already entrusted us with, He will in turn trust us with even more things to do for His Kingdom.

As we will see as we continue through Matthew that our gift back to God will be what we have done on this earth as we present it to Him at the end of this world. Everything we use to further His Kingdom will be one day rewarded back to us.

What if the wicked servant should say in his heart “My master is taking a long time”?

We are now introduced to another servant or the same servant who changes their mind. The problem is that they grow tired of serving and begin to not expect the Master to return or to return soon.  In light of the whole passage this is talking about Christ return or His second coming.

When the master is gone the true nature of the servant takes over and he takes advantage of the other servants by being in authority over them. With his authority he abuses the other servants and lives an unacceptable lifestyle.

We all have a tendency to be this way as we lose focus of what is really important and become more preoccupied with the ways of the world.

Do you really believe Christ is returning soon?

What things would you stop doing if you knew that Christ would be coming back?

What things would you start doing?

The Master of the Servant will come on a day when he does not expect and an hour he does not know

The servant’s behavior has led him to believe that he had more time and therefore time to clean up his act and to make up the work that he was neglecting. For now he is going to live for himself and not do what the Master has asked him to do.

The most dangerous delusion is the delusion that there is more time. We hear this from people as they say they will follow Christ later in life. Tragically, they never get the chance to live for Him because they die in the process of living how they wanted to live.

And He will cut him into pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

When Jesus returns for the Second time not only will it come as a surprise for many it will also be a dreadful day as they are unprepared. Only those who have fully surrendered their lives to Christ will be happy when He returns.

Hypocrisy is aimed at the religious leaders who Jesus continually called Hypocrites.

The phrase “Cut in two”;  carries two meanings; it was the way they sacrificed animals and also one of the worse ways to die. It is the thought of total destruction of the individual.

Weeping and Grinding of teeth: This is a metaphor for eternal punishment for those who do not surrender to the love and grace offered through Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross.

Read Matthew 25:1-13

To continue to make His point Jesus gives them an illustration they can understand and relate to.

The Kingdom of Heaven will be like 10 Young women

10 is a symbol of completeness in the Bible (10 Commandments, 10 Plagues, 10 percent)

A Jewish Marriage had 3 parts to it.

The engagement: which the fathers usually lined up.

The Betrothal: Where they exchanged vows and were legally married

The Wedding feast: This is where the groom comes and gets his bride after all the preparations have been made.

Some say that the lamps or torches represent the church and that all of those represented in this story were affiliated with God’s people. Although they all looked like they were all not prepared to meet the groom. This is part of Jesus warning the religious and now the church goers who think they are ready.

5 of them were foolish and 5 of them were wise

The Fools took the torches but not the extra oil where the wise took the torches and extra oil. Torches were just soaked rags on a stick that were lit for light when they wanted them. The idea is that you should always be ready for the unexpected and the unexpected return of the groom was a symbol of the un-expectant return of Christ when He comes.

They were to meet the groom at a certain spot but the groom took more time than they thought and they fell asleep. They were busy doing what they were supposed to be doing it was not a bad thing that they had slept it was just the groom was not there yet.

Too many Christians are about sitting back and watching the world instead of going and doing what we have been called to do. They went out to meet the groom shows that they were active in their duties. We need to be constantly out doing what Christ has called us to do.

But in the middle of the night a cry came “Look the Bridegroom is here”

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

So they awoke and began to get their torches relit for the arrival of the groom.

But the foolish asked the wise; Give us some of your oil

Proverbs 13:9 The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

Keep in mind that as Jesus is telling this story the Old Testament verses come to mind about the wicked and the righteous. So they would have thought that the torches that could not be lit represented those who were wicked. The torches that do not have fuel are like people who call themselves Christians but do not have a relationship with Christ. They look like Christians but they have not been changed by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:2-7 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

We do not serve God to get His approval but since we have His approval we serve Him. This shows that some of the people that attend church and even serve in the church, do not belong to God. The fact that Jesus focuses so much attention on the problem of people seeming spiritual when they are not, should be a warning to all of us.

Wheat and the Tares, The different kind of soils, The man with improper wedding clothes, and now the Ten Virgins, are all illustrations used by Jesus to make His point that many who are church goers are not Christians.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

Good works, being born into a Christian family, or even going to church do not make you a Christian. To be a Christian means you have surrendered your life to Christ. It means when He said “Follow Me” it meant you drop everything else you are doing to do what He wants.

There will hardly be enough for us and for you

They were not being selfish,  they were simply pointing out that what they had was enough for themselves. In a practical sense it meant that for them to share would mean they would all be out of oil too quickly and be doomed. In a Spiritual sense it means that we each have to accept Christ ourselves. We cannot ready anyone else and no one else can get in based on our surrendered life to Christ.

Go instead to the shops and buy some for yourselves.

Isaiah 55:1 Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money come, buy and eat! Come; buy wine and milk without money and without price.

This was not a case where they couldn’t get any oil is that they were lazy thinking either they had enough, or they could go the next day and get more.

So they left to get more oil but when they did the bridegroom came and they missed Him.

Salvation is free but we still have to pick it up or accept it.

Those who were ready entered the wedding banquet with Him

This is why we talked about Christ makes us ready but we also have to be prepared. This is the two sides of Christianity. The clothes are free but we have to accept them. There is also a lot written about clothing ourselves with the things of Christ.

Colossians 3:8-12  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[e] free; but Christ is all, and in all.12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

I need to physically change through the power of the Holy Spirit and when I do it changes how I act. Just like putting on a suit will change what you do during the day, so accepting the clothes of Christ change your behavior.

This also goes back to the image of one was taken and the other one left and how people that know each other will not be together for eternity.

And the door was shut

This would have been a shocker to the audience that was listening because this almost never happened for a wedding feast. Jesus is making it clear when He comes the second time then there are no more chances for someone to surrender their lives to Him.

If you believe in pretribualtion, then you do not believe that when Jesus comes again  it will be to the earth but only in the sky.  This verse is talking about when Jesus comes to the earth again.

Lord, Lord, open the door for us. But He replied I tell you the truth I do not know you

Just like Noah’s ark, when God shuts the door it is shut and the time of repentance will be over. Know is an intimate term that was used for a husband and a wife of having intimate knowledge and experience with each other. They will call Him Lord but they never made Him Lord of their lives.

So be vigilant because you do not know the day or the hour

Luke 21:34-36  “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

How many times do we let the cares of this world take over what is really important?

Why do we become bogged down with things that Christ is not concerned with?

Closing

Have you examined yourself to know that you truly belong to Christ?

The religious leaders looked like they were on the right track but Jesus said they missed it.

What things in this life have taken priority over what is really important?

Are there things in your life you need to remove and put on the things of God?

 

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