Read Matthew 18: 23 - 35 Explain what this parable says to you? What does this parable say to the belief in “once saved always saved? Does this parable indicate that God’s forgiveness is conditional?
This is not an allegory, so don’t look for much symbolism God freely forgives people and people are asked to do the same for others God’s forgiveness and man’s forgiveness are linked God’s forgiveness is withheld until one forgives others God is always ready to forgive but cannot enter an unforgiving heart Who are the hardest people for you to forgive?
One who forgives is dealt with mercifully One who does not forgive has no right to expect anything different from God Values in this parable are not significant, only used to show magnitude difference One is about $10M and the other is about $20 In OT people often sold into slavery to pay debts The king forgave the whole debt even though the slave only asked for time The slave did not even give his debtor the time
Read Matthew 20 : 1 - 16 Explain what this parable says to you?
Jesus spent a lot of time among country people out of mainstream Judaism Called Amhaarez, considered irreligious by Pharisees Jesus felt the unchurched needed Him most The working day was from sunrise to the appearing of the stars Daylight part divided into 12 hours, so the 3 rd hours is 8-9AM Householder went out again at noon and 3PM and 5PM Men without work hung around the market place, no hint they were lazy
A denarius is about 20 cents in silver, usual daily wage Verbal agreement binding by law Householder promises whatever is right, no figure is set In OT, worker must be paid each day’s wages that very day Workers saw how generous employer was with latecomers, so they should have a bonus
Pharisees believed that reward should be in proportion to performance Jesus, like rabbis, taught that no one was exempt from moral obligation Mere obedience calls for no special privilege The ultimate reward is the Kingdom of God, given to all who serve Him All other rewards are trivial Comparison of one person’s reward to another is out of place This has nothing to do with earthly jobs
Bottom line is that schemes of merit are wiped out and people are expected to give themselves over unreservedly to God’s will If you are doing God’s work for rewards then you need to examine your motives Don’t overlook the central truth by getting caught up in the debate Some interpret this to mean the Jews as the early workers and the gentiles as the latecomers
Read Matthew 22 : 1-14 Explain what this parable says to you? Gives a good hint how Gospels were written The original story is from the Q source, Matthew and Luke made additions Matthew made the feast for a king’s son Marriage means recognition of the son as the kings heir Custom included an initial invitation and a second call at the given hour
A marriage feat is a joyful occasion Jesus used the story to explain why he went to sinners and irreligious people God first invited the righteous, although they were moral people, they had no time for Jesus They were content with their ordinary business & conventional religion Guest refused not because they were bad but because they were too busy at home and at work. Their daily activities were more important that the call of Christ.
Second group called was more responsive Highways usually referred to a call to the gentiles Luke adds another calling because after the receptive Jews came there was still room Matthew says invited guests are Jews who kill the messengers
Scorning an invitation by the king was a serious insult People made light of it V.7 may refer to destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD (God used Roman army) Church on earth contains both good and bad people. God will separate them at the proper time What excuses do we hear today when you invite someone to church? What does it mean when we say that the church on earth contains good and bad people?
Mathew adds wedding garment to show something more is needed that just the invitation Expected to wear appropriate garments to the wedding Garments symbolize righteousness, everyone can have the right clothes and if they do not, it is their fault God provides the robe through faith
V.12 The man is speechless when he is unmasked and is masquerade is ended This man depicts those who claim to be ready for the kingdom but are not Many are called but few are chosen is not pessimism but realism We are each responsible for the garments we wear, in our own hearts, we must decide if the garments are right or just a masquerade. How do you feel about your garment? What do you need to do to change clothes?
Read Matthew 25: 1 - 13 Explain what this parable says to you?
A very comforting parable to the early church Prepare not for the worst but for the best Maidens may represent church awaiting coming of Christ or Jews in the tribulation
Wedding was the greatest festivity in a Palestine village Two phases to a Jewish wedding Groom goes to brides’ house to obtain bride & have religious ceremonies The high point of the wedding was when the groom took the bride from her father’s house to her new home and resume festivities
Two sets of maidens, one set had oil for the lamps and the other did not Maybe the oil represents a faith in Christ or symbolic of Holy Spirit Some maidens had gone to their resources and become well grounded in their faith Some maidens procrastinated Which set of maidens are you more like?
It is an individual responsibility Holy Spirit is a gift but each person must obtain their own supply Spiritual preparedness cannot be shared Grace is free but it requires a response on the part of the individual We prepare for death with life insurance, burial plans, etc. What do you do to prepare for the 2 nd coming?
Matthew probably thinks of Christ as the groom who was delayed Grooms could come anywhere within a two week period Midnight is symbolic of the darkest hour
The original parable probably ended with verse 10 No one noticed that the girls were outside May not have been intentional to shut the door The point is that if your are not prepared in time you will be too late for the coming Kingdom Since the Kingdom is already here, what have you done to be prepared to be a part of it?
V 11-12 moves the bridegroom to be a heavenly judge He does not acknowledge those who have not made preparation He doesn’t claim any who professes faith but doesn’t have the Holy Spirit The idea is that at some point it may be too late to repent V.13 the command is to watch but both wise and foolish girls slept No harm in sleeping, just make sure that there is oil in the lamp How do you relate this to the Kingdom being here already?