Grab your notes for this episode by completing the form
and we will send you the link to all our notes.

Follow the podcast

* indicates required

Jesus tells us 3 parables to help his disciples understand what they should be doing between his ascension and return. Remain faithful, work with what we have to expand the kingdom, and serve him through his image – other people.

Dan: (00:00)
Hi everyone. And welcome back to training for life redeemed. I’m your host, Dan, as always, I am here with my father, David Jackson. We are talking about Matthew. We’ve been working our way through Matthew for the last few weeks. We’re now up to chapter 25 today, and we are Dad diving into a couple of parables and a story about judgment, which is, is kind of a parable too. I think it’s, it’s a bit scary. Yeah. So we’re gonna start with the parable of the 10 virgins. Now. I think all of these relate to Jesus’ return yep. And judgment day and stuff. So we’re kind of continuing our theme from 24. Yep. So we have a parable of 10 virgins and the 10 virgins are meant to be getting ready and waiting for the bride room to come and then have a party. And there’s a wedding and stuff and they miss out because they basically weren’t really ready. They, they run out of oil or something, I think from memory, so what’s, what’s Jesus trying to communicate here cuz it’s talking really to his disciples. so what what’s he trying to communicate to them at this point, given, you know, I mean, Jesus doesn’t return in their lifetime. no, no that’s right. But they still need to be prepared or something.

David: (01:12)
Yeah. Yeah. They’ve, there’s an expectation in Israel at the time that the kingdom of God is imminent, that the Messiah is gonna come. The Romans are gonna get chased away. All our problems are gonna be solved any minute. it’s sort of like I had a guy come up to me at church last Sunday because he’d been watching some Christian television channel and they’re talking about the end times and prophecy and Israel and all these exciting things that are all gonna happen because China made a move, you know, suddenly Jesus is coming back yesterday. and you think nothing’s changed? everybody’s sitting around trying to calculate how, you know, when it’s all gonna happen. And Jesus is saying, you’ll see Jerusalem fall, you’ll see the son of man ascend and take his throne on high. But you are not going to see the end of judgment day.

David: (02:08)
in your lifetime, it’s gonna be a long time. He stresses that in one of the, just at the end of chapter 25, that the householder goes away for a long time and people start to take it for granted. Yeah. That he’s gone. You can do what you like. but he’s gonna come back suddenly and surprise you and you know, the whole, thing’s gonna be a big, like a thief in the night event. Yeah. so the question is what are you supposed to do in the meantime? And the answer is you’ve got to persevere and you’ve got to be faithful. and so he tells these stories and I like the one with the, the 10 virgins because that’s, it reminds me of this whole Jewish wedding thing. which I just think is such a hoot. so in, in a Jewish wedding, you, the aim of the exercise is to surprise the bride on her wedding day mm-hmm.

David: (03:10)
So she’s not allowed to know when the wedding feast is on . I mean, try and keep that from a woman. it’s going to be interesting. So they, they sign all the contracts and then everybody goes away and gets organized. But the idea is you keep the bride in, in the dark. And then in the middle of the night, the bride groom and his mates turn up to say, today’s the day, grab your bags, jump on the wagon. Let’s go. and these girls are there. because you don’t want the bride groom and his mates barging into her bedroom in the middle of the night to carry her off to her wedding. So the girls are there ready to meet him, go in and get the woman organized, get the guys to lug the luggage out and everything, but he’s delayed. And that’s the whole point of this Jesus’s return is going to be delayed to give people room to repent. Yeah. And these, you know, if you’re not ready for a long haul of faithfulness, in their case, their oil runs out in our case, our faith runs out. Yeah. but it’s, you know, being prepared and being in for the long haul is what it’s all about.

Dan: (04:27)
Okay. So then if we shift from the 10 virgins to your talents that are handed out, yeah. Now the talents are handed out’s money, right. Is a talent stage once given a talent to use for the kingdom while he’s gone. and then some of them invested, some of them, you know, make a lot of money out of it. Some make a little bit of money out of it. One guy digs a hole in a field and bures it , he’s like, well that just stir it down here. It’s a secret. Yeah. and then when he comes back, like the whole thing is that yeah. The ones who have grown and expanded it get rewarded and the one who hid it in the field gets punished for it.

David: (05:03)
He’s in

Dan: (05:03)
Trouble. Yeah. Because when I read it, I always read, you know, the talent is kind of like the gospel, we get the given the gospel and our job is to then share that and go on mission. Right. It’s one of the core things that Jesus tells us to do while he is gone. Right. Go on mission. And it’s, you know, we’re gonna get to that in chapter 28. Is it when Jesus says, you know, going back to disciples of all nations. Yep. And so for me, I feel like the other thing of the, you know, we have the faith burning out of running out with the oil, but there’s also been element I find within churches that they lose sight of mission. They just kind of get into the habit of going through routines and they don’t make room for, well, actually our job is to grow and to actually be doing stuff in the communities that we are in and to be reaching out to those around us, to share the gospel, to, you know, invest yeah.

Dan: (05:53)
take the risks, you know, and then, you know, the Bible tells us that it’s always going to reap what it’s meant to reap. You know, it’s kind of like investing with a guaranteed return yeah. Not necessarily, you know, it takes risk. It takes vulnerabilities, all those kinds of things that we’re so afraid of in the Western world of, you know, oh no, someone’s gonna say something bad about me because I dare to share the gospel with them. Whereas you go to other countries and they’re beheading people and yeah. Torturing them because of it. And you just think, you know, we, we need that perspective. So these guys with the talents, Jesus comes back, he’s pretty harsh on them. Is that, is it just about, so we should be our mission. Is there more to that? Cause it’s yeah. You’ve circled the word faithful here a few times.

David: (06:37)
Yeah. I’ve circled the word faithful. So if we, if we’re in for the long haul and I mean, we are sitting here on the other side of the planet 2000 years later, that’s a long haul. And the question is fir first challenge be faithful. Don’t run out of oil, but the second ch challenge is, okay, so I’m in for the long haul. What am I supposed to do? Just sit here and wait for a long time. you know, I go to the doctor’s surgery, I bring a book I don’t sit there staring at a wall. Mm. There are things to do. so what are we supposed to do? I, I think we’ve misunderstood this particular, parable, because we’ve taken that word talent and we think of it in terms of a talent quest. Yeah. You know, these are my abilities, these are my special, you know, gifts or whatever you wanna call them. But the word really it’s, it’s a weight, it’s equivalent to 6,000 days pay

Dan: (07:39)
you’re. Right.

David: (07:40)
Right. So think of that 6,000 days.

Dan: (07:42)
Yeah. He just got your inheritance. Boom, boom.

David: (07:45)
6,000 days pay, but it’s not your money. It’s boss.

Dan: (07:47)
That’s right.

David: (07:48)
Yeah. And he didn’t just give you one, he gave you five times that amount. So 30,000 days pay, what are you gonna do with it? I’m entrusting it to you. I’m gonna go away for a long time. Which means when I come back, I expect it to have

Dan: (08:02)
Yeah. Done something, done

David: (08:03)
Something. Yeah. and it’s interesting that the, the first guy, the Greek there says he goes straight to work. everybody translating, it says, oh, he traded, he, you know, he, he invested it. Yeah. And if you invest something, you take it down to the stock exchange, you put it in, you sit back and you wait for profit. Right.

Dan: (08:26)
Yeah. And there’s no stock exchange now at this

David: (08:27)
Point. Yeah. There’s no,

Dan: (08:28)
No. And stock exchange, it’s all about investing in companies like you’re investing in businesses. People

David: (08:34)
Have really,

Dan: (08:34)
He just gone and started his own business with it. Well, he’s

David: (08:37)
Done something, but the point is he’s working. So the period between Jesus’ Ascension and his return, we are supposed to be on the job we’re supposed to be working. And each one of us is given a particular area of responsibility. So instead of translating this in terms of my talents, mm-hmm, let’s, let’s think of it in terms of my lot in life. So I’m 71. I look at this and I look at some of the people I know who’ve been believers for a long time. I look at how they’ve invested their days in serving Jesus. And some of the challenges around us that we have to look at is, you know, people who retire and become grey nomads, and, you know, they’re gonna go collect seashells or something. We we’ve got to redeem the days we we’re supposed to be on the job and working. And what is my lot, maybe my lot is, you know, Billy Graham had a pretty big lot, preaching to millions of people.

David: (09:38)
And that’s great. But what about the guy that’s in the factory punching holes in toothbrush handles? I mean, what is my lot in life? What am I responsible for? That’s what I got to get on with. And it doesn’t matter whether I’ve got two or five, the question is, what am I gonna do with what I got? And Jesus delivers the same reward, regardless of the amount in terms of, did you get on with the job? Yeah. And I think as you go through the rest of the new Testament, you know, some are pastor teachers and, you know, some clean the toilets, but let’s get on with the job that Jesus gave us because it’s all part of his kingdom. and I look at my, mother-in-law used to tell the story, your grandmother, you know, what do you do if you are physically disabled and there’s not a lot you can do, and your language is affected by a stroke or something, what do you do? The answer is, well, I can still pray redeem the day. and so some of the churches that we came across, elderly people in retirement homes, or, you know, even in nursing homes were regarded by the church as employed to pray full time because that’s as much as they could do never waste a day.

Dan: (10:56)
Yeah. Probably have a bigger effect than those who aren’t praying and trying to go out, go out and get stuff done in

David: (11:01)
Their own strength.

Dan: (11:03)
Okay. So Jesus then moves on to the story about judgment day. At the end, he talks about sheep and goats and dividing them. Yep. and he says, how’s your

David: (11:10)

Dan: (11:11)
My goats are good, but turns out they’re the ones that get judged . So he has to shape their, you know, taken to righteousness and, you know, eternity, heaven, new creation stuff. and the goats who on his left, they’re the ones who get judged. And he talks about what they did. Like, you talked about this talent thing being work, and now we’re gonna talk about this aspect of, you know, their righteous and saved. Because when I was hungry, you fed me because you know, when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. and you helped me out? And this always reminds, whenever I read this stuff, it reminds me to go all the way back to Genesis. Right. I have this thing in my, in my brain where God created us as his image.

David: (11:55)

Dan: (11:56)
And I think of all the other religions throughout the Bible, and even today where the image of God is how you worship him. Right. But you come to the image and you give the image food or whatever, and it worships him. Right. You. Yeah. So for me, when I think about that, I’m like, we, we still, in a way, part of our worship of God is through the images of God that are around us. Yeah. As we serve them and care for them. And remember that they are representing God here on earth. And as we look after them as look and obviously, yeah, we’re meant to be on mission to them, bringing them to Christ and making them all like Christ, et cetera. But I see this element of what I do for my brothers and sisters in Christ. What I do for just other people yeah. Is a way of worshiping God, because they are his image. And of course his image is living because he’s a real God and not a dead God,

David: (12:54)
A dead God.

Dan: (12:55)
and so is that like, when I, when I read this always comes to my mind, as I’m reading through, it says, you know, by feeding these other people, by caring for all these people, we are like, he’s saying that in essence, we are serving him. Right. That’s what, he’s pretty much word for word everybody’s saying. And then if we don’t do that, then we’re not serving him not. so then as we go through and think of our talents, then we go back to that. What’s our lot in life. What are we doing with that? Then we should be using it in a way to serve the kingdom. And also to when we, part of the way we do that is by serving and helping those people around us.

David: (13:33)
Yeah. I think we, we have some funny ideas worship. We talk about praise and worship and in our language today, that just means singing.

Dan: (13:42)

David: (13:43)
But we don’t sing. We actually watch other people sing.

Dan: (13:47)
, it’s, that’s

David: (13:49)
Called praise and worship. I don’t know. But the word worship means service. It’s it’s, you know, if you’re in the military, you’re a serviceman or service woman. So we are, we are on active service and that’s what worship is, but what are we serving? Well, we’re serving God. And one of the little surprises that we have is that we, we, we can be so focused on, you know, God’s up there and, you know, hallelujah, that we forget that the image of God is standing right next to us, starving to death. Mm. you know, suffering domestic violence, being kicked out of their homes, running out of money, all these terrible things that are going on around us. We forget there’s the picture of God in front of us. And as we treat the image of God, we treat him, you know, if I don’t like a politician, I go and paint, put horns on his head and, you know, make him look stupid, and vandalize his picture.

David: (14:46)
, it’s not a good thing to do at election time. and people do that to send a message. Well, the way I treat human beings sends a message and God takes it personally. So the way we treat other people reveals something about our heart and even an believer because they’re made in the image of God, can’t resist having some compassion after all, but sin damages that it turns us into selfish, frightened, defensive, destructive people. Now, if you’ve got a new heart, not a heart of stone, a heart of flesh, and you see people in trouble, you react with grace and mercy and you take action and generosity. you, yeah, I think back both your mother and, and I grew up in families where we constantly had people staying with us who were homeless, or, you know, in mum’s case, it was you, our missionaries that had come back from the field who had no money, no home, nowhere to go.

David: (15:55)
And you know, nothing for a husband and wife and four kids to move in. mum said, you know, we’ve always been chucked out of our bedroom for visitors. in my case, it was elderly people who, you know, were not in a position to manage their house anymore. And Dad just said, come and live with us. and he wasn’t even a believer and God looks at this and says, if you’re a believer in Christ, by your fruits, by the way you respond, we’ll know whether you’re fake or real. And on judgment day, you may have been able to bluff everybody else. , but you’re not bluffing God. And so we are talking about eternal life or eternal punishment. you can’t fool God. And I think that sends us back to a church where we say, it’s not good enough to do evangelism if you’re not looking after people. And it’s not good enough to hire pagans, to look after people. If you’re not gonna tell ’em about Jesus, it’s not an either. Or we got to do the both. Otherwise we’re not reflecting the character of Christ.

Dan: (17:03)
Well, that’s the end of chapter 25. If you would like to come and grab this study notes for this chapter, please head over to training for life 82. If you enjoy this episode, we would love for you to leave us a review on apple podcast or Spotify, I think do reviews as well. And please make sure you hit the subscribe button, come back and listen to us again. Next week as we head into chapter 26 and continue to get towards the end of Matthew.