Matthew 25d

Let’s play a game:  If Jesus walked up to you and asked for a winter jacket, or $30….would you give it to him?
There isn’t a person on the planet who would say “no”.  If we truly recognized the person asking as Jesus, the Son of God, the Creator of all mankind….there isn’t anything that we wouldn’t gladly surrender immediately.  No request would be too large.
But that’s not how Jesus works, is it?  He doesn’t show up in human form assuming his own identity asking or something for himself.   And why would He?  Jesus has no need of anything we possess…He already possesses it all!  Where do you thing we got it from?  From Him!
In this chapter Jesus is telling us several things, but the background theme is: using what you have.    let me explain…
In both accounts (the bridesmaids and the servants) Jesus leaves, and is gone longer than expected.  In both accounts the people don’t know when he will return, and his return is a surprise.   In both accounts the people who are with Jesus when He leaves are favored: the bridesmaids are all selected to enter the wedding feast, they have only to be ready at the door.  the servants were each given money by the Master.   They were both favored and trusted.   I would say that this represents Christians today.   Vagrants weren’t selected as bridesmaids, and enemies weren’t given money to invest.  These were the faithful that were being entrusted to do good work while the master is away.
That’s the theme in both stories.  Doing what you are supposed to while the Master is away.
That doesn’t mean we have stock up on lighter fluid and stand by the door of the church, and it doesn’t mean we have to collect the offering and invest it to become wealthy.    The point of the third illustration is to tell us what we are being entrusted with, and how to make a return on that investment.
You and I have been given abilities and talents (and resources) that should be used to help others.  Especially other believers, but all others in general.   When the Master returns, if you have hoarded your talents and abilities and your resources, and haven’t helped anyone else…you’ll be in serious trouble.  If you withheld the means to support the needy in order to become wealthy yourself…you’ll be in trouble.   This isn’t a call to arms for the social arm of the Gospel, it’s simply doing what the Master said He will be checking on when He returns.   If God gave you the ability to help 50, and you used that ability several times to help 100…you’ll be in good shape.  If you don’t then you’ll have issues.
This teaching applies to many things:  How much of our money we reinvest in ministry, how much of our time and talent we invest in teaching, making disciples and serving others.   The church always needs helpers for children’s ministry, for meal preparation and sometimes delivery of those meals.   Did you know that it is difficult to find someone who will stop on their way to church to pick up a limited mobility attendee?  It’s true.   As a people, we are often self-absorbed, and cannot be bothered to help others.   That is a perfect picture of the church sound asleep. 
If you would be awake and alert, and busy doing the good work that the Master expects to find you doing when He returns, then you must be helping others and making disciples.  I don’t know of any way to double or triple your investments other than to pass what you have learned onto many others.
Several stray thoughts today:  this passage tells us that some who are believers will fall asleep and not be ready, or will fail to use what they have been given.
   There aren’t any second chances expressed here.  Once the faithful go in, the door is locked and it doesn’t open a second time…even for those who claim to have repented. (I wonder what this does to the argument about people becoming Christians after the rapture?)
Finally, we have all been given gifts and abilities.  God didn’t make a mistake when he gave them to us….am I using mine to the full extent that He intended?
Loving Jesus,