SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In this chapter Jesus gives his disciples three parables (story with a spiritual point) to teach them what kind of people enter the kingdom of God.
- The first parable about virgins in a wedding seems strange to us, but there must have been some cultural reasons at the time why they'd be waiting with lamps. It turns out the virgins are not ready when the times comes. At the end the bridegroom said he didn't know the five foolish virgins.
- In the parable of the talents, each servant is trusted with an amount of money to take care of for the master while he is away. Two servants invest their money but the third did nothing with his. The master commends the first two but calls the third "wicked and lazy."
- In the third parable neither the "sheep" or "goats" knew their king was in need, but it was the sheep who took care of him. Jesus teaches us that when we serve people (probably especially those who can't really serve themselves) in a real sense we are serving him.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- God wants us to be ready for when we meet Jesus (whether it's when He returns or when we die). We will be ready if we truly know him (if we have a relationship with him). Until then, we need to wisely invest the talents he has given us. Those talents would include our money, our time, and our abilities. We feel like all that belongs to us, but actually it's on loan to us from God, and we need to use them strategically to benefit his Kingdom. One of the ways we can do this is to use what we've been given to serve those in need.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Are you ready to meet Jesus? Do you really know him? What could you do to get to know him, or to know him on a deeper level?
- Are you wisely and strategically investing the talents you've been trusted with for God's Kingdom? What evidence could you give of this? How could you do it more?
- What opportunities might you have to serve Jesus this week by serving people who can't serve themselves?