November 21, 2019

Stay Ready, and You'll Never Have to Get Ready

Matthew 25:1–30

4 Comments | Listen | Print | Full Chapter

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps1 and went to meet the bridegroom.2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants3 and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,4 to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.5 You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Footnotes

[1] 25:1 Or torches
[2] 25:1 Some manuscripts add and the bride
[3] 25:14 Or bondservants; also verse 19
[4] 25:15 A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years' wages for a laborer
[5] 25:21 Or bondservant; also verses 23, 26, 30

Stay Ready, and You'll Never Have to Get Ready



Key Verse | Matthew 25:13

"Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

Bio | Stacy Thorpe

I've had the unique privilege of getting a small glimpse of what the return of Jesus may be like. Two years ago, my husband proposed on a random Friday morning and explained that he'd planned a surprise wedding for that following Saturday evening. And if I wanted, I could marry him just 36 hours later. During our year of dating leading up to that moment, though, we had read God's Word to learn what His desire for marriage was, invited community into our lives, and taken Merge, Watermark's premarital class. So, when the unexpected day of our wedding came . . . I was ready.

Central Truth

Christ is coming back, and that's good news! Even though our works are not earning us salvation, our works are evidence of our salvation. So, don't get caught idly waiting when you should be intentionally working!

Devotional | Matthew 25:1–30

In biblical times, a traditional Jewish wedding took place in three parts. First, the marriage was arranged by the parents of the bride and groom. Second, the engagement lasted for an entire year as the bride waited...

In biblical times, a traditional Jewish wedding took place in three parts. First, the marriage was arranged by the parents of the bride and groom. Second, the engagement lasted for an entire year as the bride waited for the groom. Last, at an unknown time, the groom would come back for his bride and bring her to their wedding.

Since the bride did not know the day or the hour of her groom's arrival, she had to be prepared daily for him with no unfinished tasks before her. Can you imagine her groom coming to marry her after waiting a year, and she asks him to wait a few weeks while she ties up loose ends? That would be crazy!

You know what's even crazier? That God's Word promises Jesus is coming back for His people (we don't know when), but we often live as if He isn't. Some of us are like the five foolish virgins who live for to-do lists, busyness, comfort, and laziness. We wouldn't say it, but we live as if Jesus isn't coming back. Yet this passage in Matthew pleads with us to live as a wise virgin awaiting her wedding day (Jesus' arrival). For when your groom comes, you will be ready.

If Jesus comes back tomorrow, will you be ready just as the five wise virgins were? Or will you have to look back on your life and realize you're one of the foolish virgins who has done nothing to prepare? My prayer is that you will live as if Jesus is coming back tomorrow. Living this way looks like trusting God, obeying His Word, serving Him, loving others, and disciplining yourself for godliness. For if you do, you'll be excited and ready as you wait for Christ's return, while you experience the abundant life He promises us (John 10:10).

See Comments

Discussion Questions

1. What would your day look like today if you lived as if Jesus were coming back tomorrow?

2. Do you have any "unfinished tasks" that are hindering you from being prepared for His return?

3. What do you need to do differently in your daily life to prepare? (Read God's Word? Memorize Scripture? Or maybe love someone who's difficult to love?)

4 Comments available

Michael Scaman 16 days ago

Great title: “Stay Ready, and You’ll Never Have to Get Ready”!

As far as Q3 having a good plan for study individually and in group settings is good. I am memorizing the first line of the 150 Psalms this year and I find that really helpful. i also find writing about a book or topic helps me focus

Greg Jones 16 days ago

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like.”

The first will be first the last are condemned. 5foolish virgins stand at the door and knock with their lamps and oil. The reply from the inside,“I don’t know you.” It’s too bad this bridegroom didn’t say I’ve been hearing how you’ve been looking forward to my arrival. I’m delighted we are together.

If this master fed5000 at lunch from one bag, from one boy, then gathered 12baskets afterward, then the boy with one bag shows up at dinner with no bag and ask to eat from the 12baskets, he’ll be told “I reap were I don’t sow boy, that’s a lesson you didn’t learn at lunch, so go to…

Luckily for the foolish virgins and the boy with limited ability the kingdom story is not complete at this time.

Sue Bohlin 16 days ago

JAW-DROPPING bio story, Stacy! I want DETAILS!!! (Surely part of the being ready meant you had your dress . . .?)

This parable is instructive in showing us not just the heart of God, who loves to reward His faithful ones, but also how easy it is for us to misunderstand and judge God. “I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed” is like so many today who think, “God, I don’t like You because You’re mean and unreasonable and demanding (or distant and uncaring and emotionally absent).” Lots of people paint the face of God out of the bucket of their father’s example.

So much healing happens when we seek to find the TRUE heart and character of God in His word, and learn what He’s really like instead of how we think He is.

Hugh Stephenson 16 days ago

GM Stacy. I love your bio story. REALLY convicting devo. Love your ideas about how to be more fully prepared. Too often I am like the foolish virgins.

On the talents -

It seems the first two servants knew their master well. The third servant seems like he serves a totally different master.

The first two know their master expects His servants to be fully engaged, well equipped and bearing fruit, (Galatians 5:22-23).

The third servant seems crippled by the fear of an incorrect view of his master. I link to 2 Timothy 1:7, Romans 8:15.

Here is the critical difference for me. Pre-salvation I was focused on head knowledge of God. I became a smarter and smarter sinner but with a totally wrong view of God. Discipling reoriented me, equipped me and gave me purpose, (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8).

May 100% of my talents be used for Him.

View More Comments

Download The App

  • Jointhejourney app store
  • Jointhejourney play store