Friday, February 10, 2012

Matthew 25

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

There are 10 virgins who are waiting to meet with the groom to go to the wedding feast. half of them didn't bring extra oil for their lamps and had to go out and buy more while they were waiting. During the time they were gone, the groom came and the 5 who were there went with him to the feast. When the others got back they were not let in.

Very strange story to me. I think the message is to be prepared. It seems we are still talking about the end times, so more specifically it is to be prepared for the end of days. I don't understand who these virgins are supposed to be, they are not the bridesmaids as they are not recognized when they come back. Why are there 10 of them?

The Parable of the Talents

Before I start this one, there is a footnote that a talent is a monetary unit worth about twenty years wages for a laborer. I'm glad I noticed that or this would probably be extremely confusing. It actually makes me wonder how many other things I miss or just don't understand are from such simple confusions.

A rich guy is going to go on a journey and he gives some money to his 3 servants. He gives the best five talents, the next three and the last guy one. When the rich guy returns he asks the servants what they have done with the money. The first 2 doubled their money and the rich guy is happy. The guy with only one buried the money in the dirt. He said that the master was a 'hard man' who reaped where he did not sow and gathered where he scattered no seed. He was afraid so he did not risk the money but rather buried it. The master then said he is wicked and slothful. You knew I reaped where I did not sow, therefore you should have invested my money with the bankers so I would earn interest. The servant was cast into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I remember this story as a kid, the moral being don't be lazy. Which seems good. But what about this whole thing that the master reaps where he doesn't sow. That is a bad thing right? And did he just compare banking to that? My understanding is that people didn't like finances back then.

The Final Judgment

When the Son of Man returns, he will divide people up as a shepherd divides sheep and goats. People who were good to him when he was needy and not obviously anything special are rewarded. People who didn't are punished.

Basically he is saying do good things for people in need.

1 comment:

  1. The parable of the ten virgins. For the longest time, I thought that this story had polygamy in it. I wish I had added the notes into my bible from the good response I got when researching the response. If I remember right, it had to do with a tradition of having the bridesmaids spending the night before the wedding or something. Though, I wonder if that's speculation or that the Greek didn't have a word that is the same as when we use "bridesmaids."

    The tenants. I always saw this story as a parable about hearing the news of God and whether or not you spread it. I like the message if this is the case, but I don't really like the parable used to express it. If I gave three friends a fortune to hang on too while I was gone, I would be happy if they got money. However, I would be kind of pissed if they took some wild risks with my money. What if the tenants invested it in some tech stocks, or the housing bubble. (Or whatever the equivalent was back then). I would have rewarded the guy who safely kept my money. That's just my two cents.

    Judging the nations. I really liked the verse where he says "For I was hungry and you fed me" etc. I think this is a great thing to teach. There are a few other places in the bible where it says to more or less kill strangers, particularly in Numbers (1:51, 3:10, 3:38, 18:7) and Deuteronomy (7:2) etc, but we'll get there when we get there. =P
    In verse 34 he talks about how God prepared this kingdom at the creation of the world. In John 14:2 he says that he is going to go "prepare" a place for the apostles when he gets to heaven. You can read the context in the first few verses of that chapter. I wonder if there is a discrepancy or not.


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