God’s Word of Praise and Thanksgiving
Matthew 25:1-30: Today’s reading is a continuation of what is described as Jesus’s apocalyptic/judgment discourse (which began in Matthew 23). Here Jesus describes the Kingdom of heaven by means of two parables—one about ten young women or ten bridesmaids and another about three servants.
The Parable of the Ten Young Women
1 “At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, 4while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps. 5The bridegroom was late in coming, so they began to nod and fall asleep.
6“It was already midnight when the cry rang out, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!’ 7The ten young women woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9‘No, indeed,’ the wise ones answered, ‘there is not enough for you and for us. Go to the store and buy some for yourselves.’ 10So the foolish ones went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed.
11 “Later the others arrived. ‘Sir, sir! Let us in!’ they cried out. 12‘Certainly not! I don’t know you,’ the bridegroom answered.”
13And Jesus concluded, “Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.
The Parable of the Three Servants
14 “At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there was a man who was about to leave home on a trip; he called his servants and put them in charge of his property. 15He gave to each one according to his ability: to one he gave five thousand gold coins, to another he gave two thousand, and to another he gave one thousand. Then he left on his trip. 16The servant who had received five thousand coins went at once and invested his money and earned another five thousand. 17In the same way the servant who had received two thousand coins earned another two thousand. 18But the servant who had received one thousand coins went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
19“After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. 20The servant who had received five thousand coins came in and handed over the other five thousand. ‘You gave me five thousand coins, sir,’ he said. ‘Look! Here are another five thousand that I have earned.’ 21‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’ 22Then the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, ‘You gave me two thousand coins, sir. Look! Here are another two thousand that I have earned.’ 23‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’ 24Then the servant who had received one thousand coins came in and said, ‘Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvests where you did not plant, and you gather crops where you did not scatter seed. 25I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground. Look! Here is what belongs to you.’ 26‘You bad and lazy servant!’ his master said. ‘You knew, did you, that I reap harvests where I did not plant, and gather crops where I did not scatter seed? 27Well, then, you should have deposited my money in the bank, and I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. 28Now, take the money away from him and give it to the one who has ten thousand coins. 29 For to every person who has something, even more will be given, and he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing, even the little that he has will be taken away from him. 30 As for this useless servant—throw him outside in the darkness; there he will cry and gnash his teeth.’
Today’s Key Verse: Matthew 25:13
And Jesus concluded, “Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Yesterday’s reading included Jesus exhorting his followers to be ready for his coming. Today’s reading also includes a similar exhortation. What can you learn from the actions of the ten women and the three servants in today’s reading? What are the consequences of being ready or not ready for Jesus’s return? In what ways can you “watch” and “be ready” for Jesus?
Lord Jesus, teach me to be a faithful disciple, always watchful and ready and obedient to your will. Amen.
Matthew 25:31-46: The nations of the world are judged.