The two parables that begin this chapter (vv. 1-30) continue the theme of watchfulness that was introduced by Jesus in the previous chapter (vv. 36-44). [It may be helpful to go back and read those verses right quick.]
We have already talked about the image of the wedding feast. The parable of the wise and foolish maidens (vv. 1-13) drives home the function of Christ in that weddings feast. The main point that’s important to keep in mind is that Christ is the Bridegroom. This will be a common image as we move through each of the Gospels; and remember what we said about the Book of Revelation back in chapter 22. This image of Christ as Bridegroom is one that the early Church Fathers loved to write about and pray with. In fact, it forms the fundamental theology upon which is laid the Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders; it’s also essential to understanding the theology that St. Paul uses to describe the relationship between Jesus Christ (who is the Bridegroom) and the Church (who is the Bride). I could talk for ever about this- it’s one of my favorite images in the whole Bible!
The parable of the talents is a familiar one. “Talents” are huge sums of money; the parable warns the listener and reader about neglecting care of the talents while the Lord is away.
Finally, we have the famous Judgment of the Nations that closes the chapter (vv. 31-46). Remembering the discourse against the Pharisees in chapters 22 and 23, the admonition given to the crowds in chapter 24, these two parables we have in this present chapter, Jesus now makes plan the consequences of either rejecting or accepting discipleship and his message of Life and Love and Service and Prayer. The Judgment of the Nations is somewhat of a prophecy that both recalls the history of Israel under the Old Covenant and prophesizes about the ultimate Judgment that will come at the end of time, and at the moment of our own death. It goes without saying: we definitely want to be among the blessed!
Point for Prayer
Lets pray with these last verses (31-46). These are strong and definitive words from Jesus. How do they sit with us? Where’s the place of our on-going conversion? (Remember, any chance for the Lord is always change for the better!)