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Three troubling parables

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

After being stuck in Psalm 139 and John 9 for the last few weeks (not bad places to be stuck) I began to read in Psalm 16 and Matthew 25 earlier in the week. Actually, I was supposed to read Mtt 25:1-13 but I ended up looking at the entire chapter.

My takeaway from Psalm 16 was from  verse 2,”You are my master. All the good things I have are from you.”  That was a good reminder for me after I read Mtt 25.

five virgins by TissotWhen I came to Mtt 25 and three tough parables–actually I wrote in my journal, three “frightening” parables. I noticed a few similarities

In the first parable, all ten of the ladies went to sleep but because of the master’s delay, 5 ran out of oil and were left behind and heard the words, “I don’t know you.”

In the second parable, all three men knew that the master would hold them accountable.  All three called him master.  Two were faithful and received more responsibility.  The one who was fearful was also called wicked and lazy and he was sent to a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.   Seems harsh just because he was afraid?

In the third parable, all the characters did not know that what they were doing to the poor and needy (or not doing) was being done (or not) to Jesus.  Again, eternal punishment awaited those who did not give.

Trying to make sense of this passage, I come up with three simple statements.

Parable #1–My timitalentsng is in his hands, He is in control, don’t imagine that I am. I should be ready, be prepared whenever He wants or calls to me.

Parable #2 All my stuff belongs to him and I should not forget it.   I am not to be afraid but to be faithful. Whatever he wants he can have–it belongs to him anyway.

Parable #3  Everyone belongs to him and I am not to ignore anyone, especially the least of people.  I am to be compassionate.  I am to love whoever you bring to me.

I welcome any insights others might have on these parables.  In packing up my books last night, I was reminded that I don’t have a good commentary on Matthew and that will be one of the things I look for in the next months since I know there are some new ones out there.

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