February 5/Matthew 25

Each football team in the National Football League has a starting quarterback and a backup quarterback. The backup guy has to know all the plays just like the starting quarterback. He has to go through all the conditioning drills just like the starter. He does everything the starter does. He has to be ready in case the starter gets injured so he can go in and lead the team. He in a sense now represents the starting quarterback on the team.

In Matthew chapter 25 the three stories Jesus tells have to do with being ready. Ready for what you might ask? Well to be ready for when Jesus comes back. We are here to represent Jesus to the world around us. There are no days off from living for Jesus.

Just like a backup quarterback doesn’t know when he might get called into the game we don’t know when Jesus will come back. So we need to keep ourselves in shape so to speak by maintain our spiritual conditioning. We discipline ourselves to feed the spirit within us on the word of God. We get to know God through our obedience to his word. We work on developing our Christian character. We develop the fruit of the spirit. We stay close to Jesus by praying and listening to our bibles as we read them. In fact the bible begins to become a close friend to us. We fellowship with other Christians and have them hold us accountable to grow in spiritual maturity. We have them ask us the hard questions like: are you watching pornography, are you gossiping, how are you treating your wife, are you spending time in prayer, are you a good employee, how do you behave when no one else is watching, are you tithing, are you part of a small group, do you have someone mentoring you, how is your Sunday morning attendance, how do you handle it when someone treats you like a servant? etc.

Verses 1-13 > the 5 foolish bridesmaids were called foolish because they thought they had plenty of time to get ready for Jesus. A lot of people are like that today; particularly young people. They think, “I’ll party now an do what I want and then when I get older I may consider Jesus.” They don’t get themselves ready. Falling asleep is a picture of going on with life. The foolish ones did nothing to have a relationship with Jesus and like the oil, time ran out. Did you get that; only fools have nothing to do with Jesus. Whereas the 5 wise took advantage of time, they had the oil, they were ready and when the call came they were in.

Verses 14-30 > We have all been given certain abilities and talents and we are to use them to help others and bring people to Jesus. If we don’t we are considered useless. What good would a backup quarterback be if he didn’t participate with the team but just sat back in the locker room eating pizza and Breyer’s ice cream all day long? Yea that’s right he would be useless. After a few weeks of that he would no longer be on the team because he would get fired! In fact the way he acted you would question whether he really was on the team.

This useless servant never spent any time with the team or the master. We know that by how he perceived the master as cruel and harsh. However the other two servants who spent time with the master didn’t perceive him to be that way at all. So like the 5 foolish bridesmaids this guy had no relationship with the master the coach; he actions showed that he really wasn’t on the team. When the master showed up he wasn’t ready.

Verses 31-46 > So how are you treating other Christians? Jesus said that however you treat them you are treating me! Wow! Take time to process that. Again we show that we are on the team by the way we treat team members. Remember what Jesus said to Saul who was persecuting Christians? >

Acts 9:4–5 (NLT) — 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!

Your behavior shows if you are ready to meet Jesus. What you believe always shows up in your behavior. If you don’t believe in Jesus or if you think you have plenty of time or if you think there isn’t going to be a judgment your behavior will show it. Those people that don’t yield their lives to Jesus and show it by their actions are cursed! Yes that is what Jesus just said in this last story.

James Boice, “This is an evil world. All sins are not judged in this world, nor are all good deeds rewarded. If this is a moral universe, if it is created and ruled by a moral God, then there must be a reckoning hereafter in which those scales are balanced. Evil must be punished.

Go back and read the stories again and again and again. Now you have no excuse for not being ready for Jesus to return. But think if you are ready how wonderful it will be to finally meet Jesus face to face!

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    The oil in the first parable can be thought of at least two ways. In the bible oil frequently is thought of as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. The foolish virgins did not have the Holy Spirit when it was needed. Since they were still virgins they had remained faithful to the law but did not have the relationship / spiritual power. The second thing with the oil was that it was for a lamp. If you do not have oil for your lamp you cannot be a light for the world. The wise virgins also slept but had oil to light their lamps when it is needed. They were invited in to the banquet but may have been told that they actually could have shared their oil since the power of the Holy Spirit is limitless. This chapter follows well from the last one where the rapture was discussed and the ready will be taken and the unread will be left.