About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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ch. 25:1-13   ch. 25:14-30    ch.25:31-46

The Parable Of The Ten Virgins (ch. 25:1 - 13)


In verse 1 Jesus begins to share another parable and it is about the people who will be living at the end of the age.  He beings by saying, “at that time”.  “At that time” refers to the time of the end as seen in the last chapter.


The parable concerns the Kingdom of God at the end of the age.  In God’s kingdom there will be people like those Jesus speaks about in this parable.  He is speaking about ten virgins who are to go out and meet their husband to be.  The question arises, are there ten grooms for ten woman or one groom for ten women, or what?  The parable specifically says there is only one group but ten women, therefore most scholars suggest that the ten women are part of a wedding party of one bride and one groom and the rest of the women are attendants to the bride. 


To make the parable accurate with the reality of the parable, Jesus could not say there is more than one groom since in reality He is the groom, and the only groom.     


In verses 2 and 3 Jesus says that five of these young women were wise while the other five were foolish.  They all went out in the dark of the evening to meet the groom.   The darkness is significant. This represents the darkness of the world around those living in the Kingdom of God at the end of this age.  Although the world may make great strives in technology, medicine, social change, and many other areas of life, the world will become more evil in the process of this great change.


Because of the darkness these virgins take their oil lamps with them.  This obviously is a wise thing to do, but the unwise thing that five of them did was not take enough oil with them if for some reason the groom did not meet them when they expected.  And this turned out to be the case.  Their expectations were wrong, as is often the case in Christian circles over the years.


In verse 5 we see that all ten virgins got drowsy while waiting and they fell asleep.  This typically is the situation with humans in general.  We get tired and board of waiting and we fall asleep spiritually.


In verse 6 we note that the call goes out to the virgins.  The groom is ready to meet them.   This is a clear reference to the return of Jesus and the trumpet sound that will announce His return.


In verses 7 through 10 we see all the virgins waking up, getting their lamps ready to meet the groom in the dark.  The five foolish young women who did not bring enough oil asked the other five to share their oil, but they refused.  They told the five foolish girls to go and by some oil, so they did just that, but in the process they missed the bridegroom and they were late for the banquet.  They were left outside.


In verses 11 and 12 the five foolish women knocked on the door to the banquet, asking to be let in.  The Bridegroom would not let these women in and told them that he never knew them. 


This parable is clearly a prediction of the church in the final days of this age.  Parts of the church will be ready, while other parts will not be ready.  Those who lost the oil will not eat at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb as seen in the book of Revelation. 


It’s my thinking that the “oil” represents the Holy Spirit as it often does in the  Bible.  The five foolish women did not have any oil at the end.  This tells me that part of the church, or you might say, part of what once was  church lost the Holy Spirit.  They forsook Him along the way and fell asleep.  Part of what makes a person a true Christian is the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in him.  If for some reason the Holy Spirit departs, then that person is no longer a true Christian.  This not only applies to individual people but to the church as well. 


This section closes in verse 13 with Jesus saying that we need “to keep watch because you don’t know the day or hour”.  Keeping watch means staying alert, and not forsaking the things of the Spirit.  Keep watch means to keep an eye open for the signs of the times.  Some over the years have suggested such thinking and activity makes one more heavenly minded and not being of any earthly good, but that’s not so.  Jesus specifically tells us “to keep watch” for His return, and not give up while waiting.


The Parable Of The Talents (ch. 25:14 - 30)


Verse 14 begins with the word “again”, meaning that this parable of the Kingdom is all about the end of the age. 


Verse 15 begins the parable with a land owner going on a long journey.  He entrusts his servants with certain things.


Also in verse 15 we see that three servants got talents, or money for their responsibility.  One servant got five talents, another two, and the last one.  The amount given to each servant depended on their ability to do what was asked of them.  This is interesting.  When thinking of the meaning of this parable we should note that Jesus does not give us all the same responsibility.  And the jobs He does give us “depends on our ability” to do the work, suggesting that not everyone has the same God given abilities from birth.


In verses 16 through 19 we see what these three servants did with the money they were given. Both the servants who had five and two talents invested their money and made a hundred fold return on their investment.  Yet the one with only one talent, who had the least ability simply buried his money in the ground and did not receive any return on the money given to him.


In verses 19 through 23, after the master returns we see the servants with the five and two talents come before the master.  The master was very happy.  Both men doubled the money they originally received.  He invited them into his presence to share in his happiness and gave them even more responsibility.


In verse 24 through 28 we see that man who had been given one talent come to the master.  He told the master that he was afraid of him and didn’t want to lose his money so he hid it in the ground.  He returned the one talent to the master and the master was not happy.  He called this servant “lazy and wicked”. It is interesting to note that Jesus views laziness and wickedness in the same light.  The master took the one talent away from this servant and gave it to the servant who had ten talents.    


So in verse 29 Jesus tells the moral of the parable.  He says that those who have, more will be given, but those who don’t have, from them will be taken that which they have. On the surface of things, this doesn’t sound very nice on the part of Jesus.  Why would he take away from the poor?  The fact of the matter is that this poor person was poor by choice.  He had a way out of his poverty by being given a talent, but he chose to stay in his poverty by hiding his money.  Yes, he had the least ability to make more money, but he was given a bit of money to make some kind of improvement on his situation but he chose not to do this.


In verse 30 the master in the parable tells other servants to throw this lazy servant out into outer darkness.  This tells me that Jesus has offered salvation to everyone, but if some do not choose to do anything with  this salvation, but only bury it and forget about it, they’ll be thrown into the Lake of Fire with the devil and all the rest of the wicked. 


Salvation is not about hoarding.  It’s about giving and investing for the sake of the Kingdom of God. 


The Sheep And The Goats (ch. 25:31 - 46)


In verse 31 we see a prophetic truth that is often repeated throughout the New Testament.  Jesus says that He will return to this earth in all of His heavenly glory with His angels.  Angels will return with Jesus.  We don’t know if these angels will stay on the earth or just accompany Jesus upon His return and then go back to heaven.


This verse specifically says that Jesus will set up His heavenly throne.  It is a heavenly throne but this throne is not in heaven.  It’s on earth, and to be specific, it's in Jerusalem.  Jesus will reign on earth as King of His Kingdom. Most Futurists believe that He will reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years, and when the thousand years are up He will rule from the  New Jerusalem that is seen in the book of Revelation.  


In verse 32 we see the first thing that Jesus will do from His throne and that will be to separate all the people on the earth, as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.  On one side of Jesus will be true believers while on the other side will be unbelievers.


Note the word "nations" in this verse.  The Greek word translated as "nations" in the NIV can also be translated as Gentiles.  The context should determine how you translate it.  Futurists believe that the nations spoken of here are the Gentile nations, which does not include Israel.  People from every Gentile nation will be judged and separated either on one side of Jesus or the other side.  Many Futurists believe that the Gentile sheep here refer to those Gentiles who get saved during the tribulation period. I'm not totally sure of that at the moment.


In verse 33 Jesus specifically says that the believers will be on His right side, while the unbelievers will be on His left side.


In verse 34 Jesus looks to the believers on His right side and invites them into the Kingdom of God that has been prepared for them since the creation of the world.  We learn a few things here.  One thing that is confirmed is that the Kingdom of God will be on earth, not just in heaven.  The other thing we learn is that this Kingdom was not newly created or thought of after Jesus’ return.


Jesus says that His Kingdom was in the mind of God at creation.  This tells me that preparation for the Kingdom of God was not a secondary thought in the mind of God after the Fall of man.  God had this future kingdom in mind as He created the world.  This then tells me that the Fall of man was expected by God.  It did not come as a surprise to Him.  He might well have planned it this way.


Verses 35 and 36 tell us why those on the right side of King Jesus were allowed into His Kingdom.  It was because when Jesus was hungry and thirsty these people fed Him and gave Him drink.  When He was a stranger, they took Him in.  When Jesus was in need of clothes, they clothed Him.  When He was sick they looked after Him, and when He was in prison they visited Him. 


In verses 37 and 38 the righteous people on Jesus’ right side asked when they did such things, because in reality, they did none of these things to Jesus.  This might well be our response to these words as well. 


In verse 40 Jesus calls Himself King here, as He has been doing all along in this section.  This reinforces the truth that there is a new kingdom on earth that has replaced all the old kingdoms of men, and Jesus is the King. 


Jesus answers these people’s question by saying that when they did these things “to the least of these my brothers, that they actually were doing these things to Him as well.  We need to ask, who are the brothers mentioned here?   Some say they are fellow Christians, something I used to believe.  I now don't see it that way. 


If the word "nations" in verse 31 applies to "Gentiles", and sense Jesus was a Jew, it make sense that Jesus' brothers here are Jews, not Gentile Christians.  Therefore, the product of these saved Gentiles faith was that they supported Israel.  If this is so, this is a direct reference to the Abrahamic Covenant that states that whoever blesses Israel will be blessed.    


The question needs to be asked at this point, “is the entrance into the Kingdom of God then based on such good works as feeding people.  The answer is clearly “no”.  There are sufficient Scriptures that state that salvation is by faith, by trusting Jesus alone, and not by any of our good works.   The good works spoken of here is a result of our faith, is a result of trusting Jesus.  We’ve already entered the family of God when we first got saved, and that’s why we’re looking after our new brothers and sisters in Jesus, and the Jews.   


Jesus is simply stating a fact here and that is those who will be on His right side have cared for Israelis, among many other things the people would have done as well.


In verses 41 through 43 we see Jesus turning to those on His left side.  He tells them to leave and go into “eternal fire” that has been prepared for the devil and his followers.  The reason why these people end up in the fire is because they did not do the good works that the other people did.  The reason why they did not support the Jews is because they weren’t Christians.  They had no faith or trust in Jesus.  They failed to understand the Abrahamic Covenant that also stated that he who curses Israel will be cursed. Thus this is the main reason why they end up in the Lake of Fire.


We need to note something about the Lake of Fire .  It is my thinking that just as the Kingdom of God on earth was prepared at or before creation so was the Lake of Fire.  This is why certain demons wanted to go into the pigs, just weeks earlier.  They knew it was not yet time for them to be judged.  These demons knew their fate was to be the Lake of Fire.  The Lake of Fire is not an afterthought in the mind of God, just as the Kingdom of God on earth wasn’t an afterthought.


Another thing we should note about the Lake of Fire is that it is not hell.  Hell is the present day place where the souls of  the lost dead go.  Hell will eventually be thrown into the Lake of Fire as seen in Revelation 20:14.  


In verse 44 we see those on Jesus’ left ask when did they ever see Jesus hungry or thirsty, or in need of clothes.  We do see these people calling Jesus Lord at this point.  Thus what Paul says in Phil. 2:10 and 11 is fulfilled.  Everyone will confess that Jesus is Lord at this point in history.  Everyone will acknowledge Jesus for who He is.


Jesus answers in verse 45 that these unbelievers failed to help Him, when they failed to help His brothers in Christ, meaning His Jewish brothers.  Once again, they failed to help Israelis as the Abrahamic Covenant commands us.  They had no real faith in Jesus.


This chapter ends with verse 46 where Jesus states the fate of both the believer and the unbeliever.   Those who believe will enter into life eternal.  They will live on the New Earth forever.  Those who do not believe will be living in the Lake of Fire forever.  I see the Lake of Fire as being a place where people are continually in the process of dying but not being able to die.  


One very important thing we need to learn about this portion of Scripture is the fact that Christians need to understand the place of Israelis in the prophetic history of God.  Israelis have not been replaced by the church as has been taught over the last two thousand years.  Therefore, as Jesus says here, we need to do the best we can in supporting Israelis, even in their present apostasy. 



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