Sunday, 06 November 2016

The Kingdom of Heaven is Coming

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Remember when we learned about Matthew 25?
It describes a parable of 10 virgins. 
In this parable, the Bible teaches us that 10 virgins go out to meet the Bridegroom, the Christ. 
At midnight, they hear a shout to come out and behold the Bridegroom. As they all rise from sleep, they trim their lamps in preparation to meet him.
They all trim their lamps, but five of them do not have enough oil to keep their lamps lit. They demand oil from the five who have plenty, but when they do, the other five who are prepared deny their request. Instead, they tell the unprepared five to go buy more oil for themselves. And when they go to buy, the Bridegroom comes and accepts the prepared virgins into the wedding feast and closes the door. Read versus 1 through 13. 
Lamp 1Lamp 2 
Some time ago, we analyzed the oil and the lamp in this parable. We discussed an analogy about us being the lamps and the oil being the scriptural information that we have in ourselves. 
Now read verse 14: 
For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.
The man gives five talents to one slave, two to another, and one to the other. He gives them each an amount according to their own ability (verse 15).
Chrst teaching
You know what happens with the talents, right? Read through verse 28.
But is there more?
Verse 14 says the parable of the talents is just like the parable of the 10 virgins. 
Now read verses 29-30, which says:
For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Okay, so clearly this parable is a bit of a wake-up call. Both parables result in the same type of separation.
What is a talent? 
One reference says: A talent was worth about fifteen years’ wages of a laborer.
From the comparison that verse 14 makes about these parables, does it seem that the oil is like gold?
Would both the oil and the talents only represent scriptural information? 
Or, could they include more?
Verses 31 through 46 give us an indication.
Verses 31-33 describe a separation of the sheep and the goats, and the blessing for the sheep on his right. 
But verses 34-40 seem to indicate something more. 
The talents that Jesus Christ refers to in these verses are more personal. They indicate ways that his sheep have taken care of someone by giving them food, drink, or clothing, or by visiting them when sick or in prison. He likens these acts as though the sheep had taken care of Christ himself. He says:
Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
But the righteous ones, who he calls blessed, need clarification. 
Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 
And King Christ says:
The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Did he found them worthy to inherit the kingdom because of their talent to help others? 
Or, will he only allow them to enter the kingdom if they are filled with scriptural knowledge? 
Or must they have both?
Pushing my comfort zone to think more openly, and your input is welcomed!!!
To the kingdom!
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