For the text of Matthew 25, click here.
The chapter opens with a parable. This one is about 10 virgins looking for a husband. This in itself should show a little about what the word virgin meant in this time. Jesus uses it as a synonym for unmarried women. Sure, it could just be a manner of speaking at the time because the assumption was that all unmarried women looking for a husband wouldn’t have had sex before, but it seems so offhand to me. It had to be virgins in the story, right? Anyway, they were looking for a husband and were supposed to go to a place and wait. Some brought extra provisions to be there a while and others didn’t. Of course the would-be husband shows up after half of them have run out of provisions and those who brought extra are the only ones there for him to choose from and get to go to the party, if you will. It doesn’t say which one he chooses, but the point is that those who had to go back for extra weren’t around to be invited.
I believe the point is that we should be prepared because God’s gonna take His time and we should have been ready to wait. That’s what I got out of it at least. Part of the interesting thing about the comparison is that the men in the room are the women in the example. They should get that God expects them to be patient and prepared for Him the way that they expect women to prepare for them.
The next one brings them back around to more manly matters of the day with servants and money and how both should be handled. There’s a part of me that just feels for the one who tried to save the money and be sure of it’s disposition without being ambitious or intuitive enough to try to use it to make more money. The parable even says that the money was given “according to their talents”. Clearly this last one wasn’t talented at all with money and was further punished for not even trying. But what if he had failed? The parable doesn’t take that into consideration. I suppose that was not the point. I didn’t really get the point so I checked what the study section had to say and it does make some good sense. The point is for people to use their talents for the benefit of God. This is interesting because the argument that women not lead or do anything but be subserviant within Christianity and I’ve seen it used a lot that God wouldn’t have given them these talents had He not wanted them used for Him.
The last story of the final judgement is one of those areas of the Bible that worries me about the US. I know that I’ve missed opportunities for this before too, but I’ve also known people to blatantly ignore it and people who argue against even considering it and those who teach their children not to do these things. But Jesus specifically calls us to it here:
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’Matthew 25: 34-36
No one is perfect, but this isn’t exactly the America people experience when they are in need. This is a list of ailments or poverty that Americans specifically have a problem with people being in but not many want to do anything about according to the media. Of course, there are plenty of charitable organizations, but we continue to do two things as a country that irritates me. We call ourselves a Christian country and then our government continuously talks about why we shouldn’t be taking care of people. I don’t get it, but that’s an argument for a different sort of post I suppose. Fortunately, this is the sort of thing we can work on individually.
For downloadable study guides, click here.