What did I learn about Jesus?
- He made a promise to return, and to return in judgment (verses 13,31-32).
- Jesus knows and welcomes into his kingdom those who are prepared (verses 1-13), invest of what he has given (verses 27-29), and do works of mercy for the “least of these” (verses 34-40).
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Be prepared. Don’t wait until the last minute. Be alert.
- I want everyone to be welcomed into the Kingdom. I have Good News to share.
Extended thoughts and observations from Elder, Steve Maxwell:
Yesterday Jesus spoke of end things. Here in chapter 25 He continues this theme with three parables that relate to His return. I’m going to focus on the first parable.
Verses 1-13, Parable of the ten virgins. There are a number of symbols in this parable. I think it is clear that the bridegroom represents Christ. Oil is often used to represent the Holy Spirit, and I think that the virgins with the lamps represent professing Christians. Jesus taught about being salt and light in chapter 5, and oil or the Holy Spirit is what allows the lamp give light. Romans 8:9 states, “If anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Just like the virgins with the oil did not give oil (the Holy Spirit) to those without it, the Holy Spirit is from God and not something we can give to others. This parable says that there will be a time when it is too late, when the bridegroom comes for his bride and the door closes. In verse 12 the bridegroom replies to them “Truly, I tell you, I don’t know you.” Those without the oil or the Holy Spirit, he did not know; they never had a real relationship with him.
My takeaway is that there are certain non-negotiable conditions (indwelling of the Holy Spirit) that come with being saved. Like those virgins with oil, we must be prepared for that day and have a true relationship with the Jesus – for one day it will be too late. As I think about this in the context of disciple-making, I wonder if there is someone I know who might think that they are okay, but may really be indifferent towards securing a true relationship with Christ? Can I have an impact on them before they are out of time?
(Elder, Darrel Dehaven)- My thoughts picking up where Steve left off. Steve covered the first step of repentance and justification in the parable of the 10 virgins with their lamps.
I think the next 2 parables — parable of the talents (25:14-30) and the sheep and goats (25:31-46) deal with our part of the job following justification with sanctification. We must bear fruit by multiplying the gift of grace given and accepted. And the first step is caring for those in need. No hiding God’s “talent” under a rock today!
Praying that we are each bold in letting our lamps shine powered by the Holy Spirit.