Be prepared for Christ’s return (Matt 25:1-13)

Yesterday, we looked at the unexpectedness of Jesus’ return. No one knows the day or hour – not even Jesus himself knew while in human form. It will be sudden, with catastrophic consequences: like people going about their business before being swept away by the flood; like a thief doesn’t phone ahead, but turns up without warning to steal your stuff.

So what should we do? Be ready, keep watch, says Jesus. Despite the delay, act like he could return at any moment, and be found doing what is right. In fact, in today’s story we’re told to make adequate preparation for Jesus’ return.

Matthew 25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

 

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Be productive while we wait (Matt 25:14-30)

So far in this series of parables about Christ’s return, we’ve seen that it will be unexpected (like the flood, or like a thief in the night) – so we need to be ready. Yesterday, we saw that, despite the delay, we need to make adequate preparation – like the wise bridesmaids who brought extra oil for their lamps. But what does it look like to be prepared? That’s what today’s parable is about.

Matthew 25:14-15 Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.

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Be authentic followers of Jesus (Matt 25:31-46)

We’re now at the end of this series of parables about Christ’s return. We’ve seen that it will be unexpected, so we need to be ready. That, despite the delay, we need to make adequate preparation. That being prepared means being productive for the kingdom. And we ended yesterday with the principle that our actions are evidence of our faith – something which is taken up more explicitly in this final, extended story.

Matthew 25:31-33 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

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