Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.
What Does this Passage Say?
- Matthew 25 opens where we left off yesterday in our reading. Jesus has taught the principle that we do not know the day or the hour, now He uses an illustration of virgins waiting for the bridegroom. Some were prepared for the long wait with extra oil, others were not. Where do you stand? Are you ready for our bridegroom to return … Jesus?
- Jesus continues His thought but switches up the subject. He has been teaching about being prepared for the coming of the kingdom, or as the last story called it the bridegroom. Now He is concerning His words with what we are to do in the time we are waiting. Jesus wants us to be productive. He tells the story of a master who has three servants that he entrusts a sum of money to. Two of the servants make the money work for them and double what the master gave. Their actions please their master. The third servant did not do anything but bury the money in hole. This displeased the master. Jesus instructs that whatever gifts, talents, resources, or abilities we have we are expected to use them while we wait on His return.
- Jesus then finishes His discussion by showing the final judgment. Now here is where things get confusing. Jesus is illustrating believers verses non believers with goats and sheep. The sheep represent believers and goats represent non-believers. Jesus then says He will distinguish the believers against the non-believers by their works. Does this teaching by Jesus then stand in opposition to salvation by grace? No. Here’s why … we are not saved by works, we are saved by faith, but our works are the proof of our faith. If our faith is real then our works should support it. Jesus told us in the parable of the talents that we are to be busy working. Jesus then says our work will be a demonstration of our faith. These six elements Jesus highlights are not an exclusive list of works but a good start because they support the basic needs of people.
What is this passage teaching?
- Like yesterday’s passage, Jesus tells us to be ready for His return. We do not know when it will be, but we need to be ready. Part of being ready is by being busy using the gifts, talents, and resources God has blessed us with. Jesus finds this highly important as He teaches it is our service in His kingdom that will define our faith. We are not saved by our works, but our works define the faith that saves.
How can I apply this passage to my life?
- So, knowing that you are supposed to be waiting on an unknown time of return for Jesus, how busy at work are you? Jesus expects us to be actively serving Him. Analyze your life? Are you serving Him? If not, maybe a good place for you to start is with the six human needs Jesus lists in verses thirty four through thirty six.