Matt25 14-30 Doing with What You’ve Been Given

I’ve been sitting on this parable for over a week (or longer…). The last one (“The Ten Virgins”) seemed to speak about having an active sense of preparedness. What I liked was something that I understood from the “IVP Hard Sayings” commentary, that the foolish virgins’ error was something they could learn from and at the next wedding feast they had the possibility of acting on what they’d learned the last time. This parable doesn’t offer such a concluding consolation. That really bothered me. More than that, it seemed like the message of this parable was that if one didn’t DO than one would lose ones place in the kingdom. How can that be? How can one be a servant of the Lord and then be thrown out because they didn’t DO something? What happened to grace or even learning from ones errors? Getting tossed out “where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” hardly sounds like a “an opportunity” to learn from ones mistakes.
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Matt25 1-13 Jesus Was A Boy Scout

I had always taken these verses to be similar to the warning in the previous chapter (Matt. 24:36-41), “One will be taken and one will be left.” (of course the Matt. 24 verses don’t seem to mean what I used to believe back in the “waitin’ for the Rapture” days). Or maybe this is like the final separation between the sheep and goats when the Son of Man comes in his glory (Matt. 25:31-33)? The IVP-Hard Saying Commentary (25:11–12 Why Were the Virgins Shut Out?) casts a very different light, putting the passage back into its “villiage” context (versus a bigger escatological one). We’re left not with a passage about getting shut out of the kingdom of God because the virgins did something dumb (in which case I might as well get ready for sitting outside every “marriage feast” in His coming kingdom). But we have a warning to be prepared. I was tempted to say that one should have an eye to the Future, but then that would be contrary to the Lord’s comments about letting the day take care of itself (from the Beatitudes in Matt. 6:25-27).
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Worth Waiting For (Matt. 13:44-46)

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought … Continue reading Worth Waiting For (Matt. 13:44-46)

Mt21 18-22 14 – The Danger of Being All Leaves and No Fruit

Matt. 21:18-22:14 – The Danger of Being All Leaves and No Fruit This section begins with a visual or “living” parable as Jesus came into the city and decided to look for something to eat. He found a fig tree with leaves but no fruit, and cursed the fig tree, which caused it to wither up. The disciples were all caught up in the apparant … Continue reading Mt21 18-22 14 – The Danger of Being All Leaves and No Fruit

Mt21:12-17 Cleansing the Temple of our Hearts

I am reminded by the NIV Commentary that this is the second time that Jesus cleansed the temple. The first time was early in his ministry and recorded in Jn. 2:13-22. I wonder if the temple officials half-way expected him to do it again. From their point-of-view, one time would be bad enough, two times in little over three years would be totally unacceptable. Unfortunately … Continue reading Mt21:12-17 Cleansing the Temple of our Hearts

Mt21 1-11 – The King Makes His Entry

Matt. 21:1-11 – The King Makes His Entry In the two previous passages Jesus has had to contend with disciples vying for position when he claims his kingdom. Then after that as he was approaching the city two blind men get his attention and his compassion and he heals them. So far it’s looking like a very busy day. Now as he approached Jerusalem he … Continue reading Mt21 1-11 – The King Makes His Entry