Day 25 of #DailyMatthew.
I had a friend once tell me that Jesus’ parables are like the pictures in a how-to manual. They don’t give you all the details, but they give examples of what it is supposed to look like. I like that definition. We have to remember, though, that parables are not literal descriptions of real life. They are word pictures that portray truth through culturally sensitive descriptions.
Okay, enough teaching. What about the two parables in Matthew 25? Well, not to oversimplify it, but it seems that Jesus’ two parables make the simple point that his followers are to use their time and resources wisely. Do not be distracted by unimportant things. Do not be concerned with self-preservation.
Instead, the parables seem to say, you and I (assuming we are followers of Jesus) should focus our time and resources on two things: 1) being aware of the kingdom of God, and 2) building the kingdom of God. Sounds good, but what is the kingdom of God?
I don’t want to oversimplify this either, but in essence, the kingdom of God is what happens when the people of God (followers of Jesus) live out the values of the Son of God (Jesus).
We live in a broken world, so even at its best, even though the kingdom is already “here” it is not fully “complete”. Even now, though, we see and experience justice, compassion, holiness, truth, transformation, restoration, and more. When Jesus-followers live this way, we get a taste of what the final/complete kingdom will be like. (If you want to discover more about the kingdom, check out my earlier posting on The Grand Narrative).
Hmm … so now we get the personal questions. In terms of the kingdom of God, are you and I using our time wisely? In terms of the kingdom of God, are you and I using our resources wisely? What changes do you and I need to make as we look ahead to the following weeks and months?