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Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. And on that day He would then separate the nations ” version unknown The Jewish Midrash teach “My children, when you gave food to the poor I counted it as though you had given it to me.’. 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. Similarly, who are those “in prison” in this passage? For you do not know the day or hour of my return. 25:14-30). While I don’t have the book, I think I’m correct in my recall of reading Wright’s “Matthew for Everyone”, in which he wrote he’d changed his view from reference to behaviour towards brothers (believers) to the poor. Are we sometimes guilty of forcing scripture into a reform theological paradigm that rejects works, requiring theological gymnastics which are not tolerated when seeking more gracious interpretations of same sex relationships? Perhaps Jesus is offering a lifeline to those ‘not of this flock’ i.e. _____, 2) The hardest part of the points you make here is inferring that by good works to “these brothers” Jesus really means acceptance of them and therefore their message. Lord! Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’, “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Their treatment of him shows where their heart lies. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. Main Passage : Matthew 25:1-13 —————————————-Jesus’s friends asked what the end of time would be like. He refers to “the least” 44 times in his writings, and “nowhere does Augustine specifically state that ‘the least’ are the poor in general… it is obvious that the Christian poor are meant” (p. 69). (You should try memorising and performing this reading—it makes it highly engaging for your audience, especially any sitting on your post-pandemic left!). I think there is also a proper debate about how we read “who are the poor?” in the Bible as there is a shift in post-exilic times to claim that the believers are the poor of God, but we might want to question whether this is a suitable lens to read other texts through. Thus this becomes a general argument of the importance of caring for the poor. Something to consider?? Jesus is making some truly astonishing claims here. 6 “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! The parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25. Whereas some of the patristics are inconsistent in their references to “the least,” Augustine is consistent in identifying “the least” as Christians. And I do not deny that he says that. Clearly texts can be interpreted differently – and we all bring our own lenses. Because of the context and because the punishment for t… He was about to be betrayed and arrested. Come out to meet him!’. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. would hardly be surprised to find that they had been doing as the king asked. I wonder if 25. But sheer common sense says we’ve drifted a long way from the plain sense of the passage, if we say it ‘really’ means faith / acceptance of truths about Jesus when it’s so clearly talking about acts of kindness towards a needy group (however we understand that group). What is wrong with surveillance capitalism? The issue isn’t general philanthropy but recognition that the person in need is a disciple of Christ and thus ‘in statu Christi’, as verse 40 indicates. I do get that there are parallels between what Jesus says in Matt 25 and what he says elsewhere about persecuted disciples, but note how he also mentions the care of the sick in Matt 25, and it seems much less intuitive to take this to mean persecuted disciples (did people become ill as a result of their witness to Jesus?). Rather, the language of ‘inheritance’ echoes God’s promise to Israel, for whom the land is an ‘inheritance’, granted to them not because of their virtue, but because they are God’s son, and they inherit as a son inherits from a father in the ancient world (and in the modern world until quite recently). My concern is a big one. Mac user; chocoholic. I did in fact grant the possibility that Jesus was talking about his disciples in Matt 25, this is a valid point (though far from certain) based on the way Jesus uses the word ‘brothers’ elsewhere in the gospel. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! The very idea that groups of people should be judged as a whole is abhorrent to the individualistic Modern(ist) mindset. I recently watched the Martin Scorsese film, Silence, about the treatment of Catholic missionaries and those Japanese who converted to Christianity in the 17th century. Thanks David, Criminals being punished – or the unjust victims of persecution? Look, here is your money back.’. 3. If we were to distribute the world’s wealth equally, what we would do is just add the middle-class westerners back to the land of suffering. Although, when all nations and peoples are gathered, so are all persons. If that is the most important issue facing me at final judgement, then it seems to me that Jesus is choosing a very obscure way of communicating this issue in Matt 25. And remember, that Judge has come in His glory, and now sits upon the throne of His glory, and all the holy angels are with Him; and that it is from those glorified Lips that the words come forth, “Ye did all this unto ME.” Oh, can we imagine such a word addressed to ourselves, and then fancy ourselves replying, “Of course we did–To whom else did we anything? At the second coming Jesus divides the nations on how they respond to ethnic Jews (his brethren) in the days of the tribulation. Whilst I tend to agree that ‘brothers’ does refer to followers of Jesus, I would question the notion that those who help said brothers may be saved regardless of personal belief. I don’t know if one should go down this route, but then I think, is my reluctance due to a too-individualistic outlook? 31 “But when the Son of Man[d] comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. Thank you. 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’, 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[f] you were doing it to me!’, 41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. Then--at the time referred to at the close of the preceding chapter, the time of the Lord's Second Coming to reward His faithful servants and take vengeance on the faithless.Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took The person of the nation is different from the persons of the nation and can experience different things. 14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. What am I missing? From the women in the genealogy and the Magi in Bethlehem to the Centurion and the Canaanite woman and the feeding of the 4000 to the Great Commission when it finally bursts forth completely. when on a shift at the Samaritans, that I am reaching out to Christ. I think he is equating nation states with sheep and goats. What does it mean to call myself ‘evangelical’? What do you think Jesus means when he says ‘If anyone gives you a cup of cold water because you are my disciples, he shall not lose his reward’? However I am not convinced: this is the culmination of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew, the final section of the final section and there is a grand inclusio back to the blessed poor of the Beatitudes at the very beginning of the first teaching section. To me it is of significance how uncomfortable some of us seem to find this reading. 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. In other words, if you follow Jesus you will be like him, and this could involve being without home, a wandering stranger, reliant on the charity and provision of others. Also in the following parable we find it even clearer. This is a dispensational reading. The ‘least of these’ are the poor in general; the sheep are those (probably followers of Jesus, obeying his teaching here) who care for the poor rather than just having a theoretical faith; and the goats are those who neglect Jesus’ teaching. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Man does not need high-tech weapons to be brutal to one another. The pdf teaching plan below includes games, complete lesson plan, and craft ideas to help keep your Sunday School or Kids Church engaged. From there, He would be judged, crucified and buried. If you have valued this post, you can make a single or repeat donation through PayPal: Comments policy: Good comments that engage with the content of the post, and share in respectful debate, can add real value. Instead of seeing that these are parables about salvation, they see them as parables about rewards or loss of rewards. I wonder if this “cup of water” might be the equivalent of “mustard seed faith”? The Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) Christ begins this parable by introducing us to ten virgins in Matthew 25:1. 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. I was sick, and you cared for me. Do you see what my issue is, and would you be able to answer this point directly? The broad reason allows one to be pick who to help and picking in a socially approved manner. And, not surprisingly they are some the enemy uses in his accusations that we may not be “doing enough” for God. This parable is an interesting one and has a number of things in common with the first parable of the servants. Sorry if I’ve not got it clear. I think you may be missing some things here and Peter Reiss has made the same unguarded assumptions about poverty and piety. If Jesus wanted to say that people would be according to the way they respond to Him through His people, why doesn’t He say that (as in 10:40)? The Parable of the Talents (also the Parable of the Minas) is one of the parables of Jesus.It appears in two of the synoptic, canonical gospels of the New Testament: . ‘I also use Matthew Henry and Wesley commentaries both 18th century but they do see helping the poor as being at the outworking of faith.’ Er, so do I! Can the whole world understanding be justified from the Bible, or not? When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. This gives rise to some challenging lessons from this better reading of the narrative: If you enjoyed this, do share it on social media (Facebook or Twitter) using the buttons on the left. Use this free Bible lesson when teaching kids the parable of the Ten Virgins from Matthew 25:1-12. This lesson is perfect for children’s church, Sunday School, or anytime you need a short kids sermon. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. Tweets at @psephizo. It was rather disturbing to watch, given the treatment of people by the authorities. In each of the four repetitions in the dialogue, this list of six things gets slightly compressed at the end. Matt 25.37 parallels this thought and its very language. In the Old Testament (Isaiah 54:4–6; 62:4-5; Hosea 2:19), … Reading the text carefully in its cultural context actually drives us back to read the text itself more carefully. This passage has almost universally been read in the light of the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matt 13:24–30, so that the emphasis of the contrast is between the good ones and the bad ones. In the end, nations/peoples are made up of individuals. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. For the modern weapons to be making it worse, we ought to see the numbers being different, I think. LOL. Open the door for us!’, 12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’. A parable is a short, simple story of comparison. These are my reflections on your provoking blog post. The lawyer discovered the neighbour is the one who helped someone in need – and we are called to do the same, whatever the nationality or religion of the other person. The children of Israel do not. Matthew 25:14-30 The Parable of the Talents is one of a number of parables Jesus spoke at the end of His earthly ministry. (These verses, Matt 10.40–42, don’t have an exact parallel in the other gospels, though there is a similar saying in a different context in Mark 9.41). I thought the logic should be the other way around—meaning, then discerning structure? In the narrative, there are three groups of people: the ‘sheep’ who are placed on the king (= Son of Man)’s right; the ‘goats’ who are placed on his left; and the ‘least of these my brethren’ who are the ones who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick and in prison. The point is that it is JESUS IDENTIFICATION with these people who have or have not helped that is critical – and that is a constant feature of biblical religion. I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where there is negative comment about ‘same sex relationships’, or about gay people, or about ‘homosexuality’. Having looked at the various interpretations, for me, the narrower reading is not compelling; but it is “easier” for richer Western Christian to live with the narrower reading as it lets us off the hook rather more. 25 are mentioned by Paul in 1 Cor. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. Why then does Jesus appear to have a negative view of the goats in Matt 25? What I am pointing out is that he is not saying that here. In modern jargon ethnos might better be translated ‘people group’. Moreover, Jesus is clear that to follow him means to be homeless; in reply to a teacher of the law who would follow him, Jesus replies: Foxes have dens, and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head (Matt 8.20 = Luke 9.58). Ten bridesmaids  took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. This is supported when we read on in the parable; beyond Matt 25.32–33, the two groups are not again referred to as ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’, but as those on the king’s right and on his left. 1 Keener:The IVP Background Commentary, New Testament, Put together, all this data points to the ‘least of these’ not being the poor in general, but being Jesus’ own followers. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. But, as I point out, this reading is located far more clearly in earlier parts of Matthew than your proposal. I would prefer the narrow reading! A nation can suffer famine, whereas it is it a person who suffers hunger. Sorry, second time I’ve made this mistake. In some: I think there’s good reason for supposing that Matt 25:31-46 is talking about helping the poor and needy in general; and, even granted the possibility that Jesus is thinking specifically of his disciples here, it’s still quite a stretch to say he’s really talking about acceptance of the disciples’ message. At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’, 28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. For you do not know the day or hour of my return. If so, then at least in this case, the poor were broader than just needy Christians, and the sheep are those who are accepted by Jesus for their Godward heart and care for the poor, and who receive the gospel message that God sends to them, though not necessarily through the poor they are caring for. I think Jesus’ own actions suggest that the alien, the orphan and the widow trajectory of the torah is how Jesus speaks of the poor. It seemes to me like a deliberate, subtle twist to make scripture support a nationalistic agenda. 1.2 God would distinguish among the sheep. The picture presented is of multiple nations/peoples in one large mass which God then separates into 2 groups, based on how they treated Jesus’ followers and therefore by extension Jesus Himself. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’. The issue isn’t general philanthropy but recognition that the person in need is a disciple of Christ and thus ‘in statu Christi’, as verse 40 indicates. “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. Follow me on Twitter @psephizo. The broad view allows us to respond, ‘I’m giving money to the Red Crescent, I can’t do everything.’. – The sheep and the goats passage and the Cornelius passage both appear to teach that people are accepted by God because of good works to the poor and needy. This passage, rather like the man without a wedding garment is a warning to those of us who may want to claim our salvation without understanding grace and call. If the narrative were about helping the poor, then those who helped the poor (having read this story!) The last of four consecutive judgment parables, if one counts Jesus’ saying concerning faithful and unfaithful slaves (24:45-51), the parable wraps up Jesus’ extended eschatological discourse that runs through Matthew 24-25. At the end of Jesus’ second block of teaching in Matthew (which Matthew attaches to the sending out of the 12 in chapter 10) we have a very similar idea—whoever receives the disciples in effect receives Jesus, and how they treat the disciples is in effect how they treat Jesus. For the goats to be nations it would require Jesus to have said ‘I will rain eternal fire on you’ or ‘Send your children away into eternal fire’ or similar. Interestingly, many commentators think that Jesus’ teaching in Matt 25 has been influenced by Ezekiel 34:17–22, a passage which mentions the action of separation as judgement, and includes a reference to both sheep and goats: As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. Parable of the Ten Virgins (25:1-13); Parable of the talents or minas (25:14–30); The Sheep and the Goats (25:31–46); These three parables examine the procedure and preparation required to enter heaven.. 3) Could the account in Acts 10 and 11 be a reflection of how Matthew 25 is outworked in life before the judgement? This section of Scripture, including the Parable of the Talents, constitutes final warnings, prophecies, and encouragements to His people Israel prior to His departure. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. It is therefore not so surprising that in Matt 25.31 the Son of Man ‘sits on the throne of his glory’ and thereafter is referred to as ‘king’ as he exercises judgement. (Am I simply doing that because the accounts fall in the same artificial chapter division? Matthew 25, the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, consists of three parables of Jesus: . Surely Jesus’ understanding of his own words are clearly shown in his subsequent words to Saul – “Saul, Saul why do you persecute ME?” Saul was not persecuting Jesus, but he was persecuting his followers. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. “Another ancient stream of interpretation has much more plausibility”. That is my main sticking point. I think I picked it up from France’s shorter commentary. Goats reproduce faster than sheep, and if a herdsman is going to keep his flock properly balanced, then as a matter of course he will need to cull the male kids (baby goats), since otherwise they will outnumber the sheep, and with too many males he will not have a supply of milk (a small herd would typically only need a couple of males). Let’s celebrate together!’. First, he is the ‘Son of Man’, Jesus’ favourite self-description in the gospels, and a term primarily taken from Dan 7.13, where it refers to the vulnerable corporate figure of Israel, exalted to God in the face of the trampling beasts of the earlier part of the vision. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. A modern equivalent which could have been used a few years ago might be: ‘The king will separate the nations as easily as a housewife separates apples from pears’. 3. Matthew 25:14-30 ESV - The Parable of the Talents - “For it - Bible Gateway The Parable of the Talents - “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. This seems perfectly logical and consistent to me. 13 “So you, too, must keep watch! The departing into everlasting fire – if we are to take it literally – is obviously a personal punishment. 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Investors in today ’ s message is from Matthew 25:1-12 does not refer everyone! Exegesis along the lines you ’ ve not got it clear of structuring to Jesus followers are. Person then the Kingdom of Heaven will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ’, when did ever... Hi Ian, you have been faithful in handling this small amount so! Simply doing that because the accounts fall in the Mediterranean, the bridegroom is Jesus Christ, and invited!