Bible Study Notes on Matthew 25 – 20180221

Bible Study Notes

Matthew 25:1  “…ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom”
I’ve heard the background to this parable explained a couple of different ways, and the commentaries suggested another.  Hard to know since we weren’t there.  Just have to compare it to what they do in the present.  Some suggest it was the time when the bridegroom came to begin the ceremony.  Others that it was the celebration in the bridegroom’s home after the ceremony at the bride’s family’s home.  Either way, the idea of the parable is that the attending young ladies knew he was coming soon and probably after dark.  Only half of them chose to be completely ready for his arrival and were ready to go in when he arrived.  The question is whether this refers to Christ’s return at the Rapture or at the end of the Tribulation.  Commentaries say He’s returning in judgment so would be His physical return to earth.  Only issue I have is His statement about not knowing when He would return.

13  “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
Those who criticize any discussion about Christ’s return timetable make a big deal out of this verse and those similar.  They won’t even consider possibilities of month or year.  Some even take the illogical step and say if a person says Jesus is going to return on a given date, Christ won’t come on that date since no one knows the day or hour.  Making a guess is not knowing.  Christ can come when He wants.  My issue here is does this refer to the Rapture or Second Coming.  Clearly, the Rapture would be a point that no one knows.  We’ve been given no specific points in history to gauge its location.  We only know that as things on earth move us closer to His Second Coming, the Rapture is that much closer.  But the Second Coming is prophesied as being after the Tribulation, and we know that takes place seven years after the Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel.  Of course, there is no mention of the exact day or hour when Christ descends, but we would certainly know the year and perhaps the month.  If it is referencing the Second Coming, saying day nor hour is much narrower than most suggest.  I actually lean more toward a narrow view.  I think we exaggerate or add to the scripture when we try to make the point of either the Rapture or the Second Coming disappear in time.  I can see it going both ways.  With the inclusion of parallelism, He could be talking about those who believe or those who will believe after the Tribulation.

15  “…to each according to his own ability…”
Everyone doesn’t get the same thing.  Which is why we don’t need to compare ourselves to others.  Point is, have you done what you could with what you were given.

21  “…Well done, good and faithful servant…”
He said the same thing to the one who gained five talents and the one who gained two.  The amount wasn’t the issue.  Both did what they could with what they had.

25  “…I was afraid…”
Fear of failing has stopped many ventures.  I’ve let it hinder me from doing a lot.  Don’t want to anymore.  Just hard to know which direction to go.  Doors don’t seem to open.  Windows either.

27  “…you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers…”
Unless I missed a nuance here, it sounds like he was saying if the servant was afraid of taking a chance on active trading, he could at least have given it to bankers and made interest.  That’s a fairly risk free way of gaining.  Be faithful to do something, even if you think it’s small.

29  “…to everyone who has, more will be given…from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away”
Commentaries suggest this is just the thought of getting rewarded for doing well and losing when you don’t do anything.  What concerns me is verse 30 and its weeping a gnashing of teeth.  That’s usually a phrase Jesus used to refer to those who rejected Him.  Salvation isn’t from works so no one will be cast away due to lack of good works.  That would make this a statement on what you do with the news of the gospel.  Do you receive it and share it with others or do you reject it and lose what knowledge you had.  Perhaps that’s it.  Some receive Christ’s offer then share it with all they meet.  They’ve made the most of what they’ve been given.  Others who receive Him may not have the opportunities to share as some, but they share what they have when they can.  They are rewarded likewise.  But some reject Christ and thus will share Him with no one.  They had the good news, but since they rejected it, they will lose even that.  Those will be cast out.  I guess the idea is to be faithful in all things whether it’s the knowledge of redemption or resources to be used for His kingdom.

32  “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another…”
This opened a lot of questions when I started looking closely.  Time appears to be when Christ returns at the Second Coming.  Thought it might be at the end of the Millennial Reign, but the context has been of His return.  He pulls the nations together and separates the sheep form the goats.  Obviously believers and non-believers as He says the unbelievers go away into everlasting punishment and the righteous into eternal life.  This brought up something I’m sure I’ve encountered before, but had forgotten.  Those who enter the Millennial Reign.  You have the ones who come back with Christ who were Raptured and those who died during the Tribulation.  And you have those who believed in Christ and survived the Tribulation.  So you have some with resurrected bodies and some with sin natures.  We know that people are reproduced during the Millennium and that they will have sin natures as satan is allowed to influence them at the end.  Exactly how that will progress is a guess at this point.  I guess the big take away from this section is that of assurance.  Christ will one day return and make all things right.  The righteous will be rewarded and the evil will be punished.  Questions can wait until then.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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