What does it say?

Matthew 25 continues the teaching on Christ’s return and the coming kingdom. Here, however, Jesus teaches through a couple of parables. The first parable is about ten virgins waiting for the return of the bridegroom from the wedding. Five are prepared and ready and the other five are not.

The second parable concerns a wealthy landowner setting out on a journey that delivers significant sums of money to his servants. The monetary unit used is the talent. According to their differing abilities, the master gives 5 talents to one, two to another and one talent to a third servant. He expects them to multiply these resources through wise investment.

In both parables those that are not prepared or unfaithful suffer the consequences of judgment. The final part of the chapter depicts the time of judgment at Christ’s coming in glory.  

What does it mean?

Both parables expand the teaching of the previous chapter. The parable of the ten virgins teaches the need to watch and be ready as Jesus has emphasized. In this context it is probable that Jesus has in mind the many Jews not prepared for his coming and the many that will not be prepared at his Second Coming not having put their faith in him. Making application, all followers of Christ should be prepared for and anticipating the Lord’s return.
The parable of the talents illustrates another quality needed in the disciple – faithfulness. Christ expects us to be faithful to invest the resources and abilities he has entrusted to us to advance the kingdom. Many believe that the judgment Jesus speaks of in the final part of the chapter is not the “Great White Throne Judgment” that appears in Revelation 20, but a judgment of those on earth at the time of Christ’s Second Coming.

How will I respond?

How faithful am I to invest the resources and abilities God has entrusted to me in the advance of his kingdom? I understand that it is important to serve in my local assembly as I have opportunity, but I am also coming to understand that serving God in his mission is something that God requires of me constantly in whatever position of life I may occupy. What practical step can I take this week to better serve God in my profession, job or in my circle of family and friends?