Tuesday Reflections – Matthew 25: 31-46 – The World Behind the Text

This week we’re going to be looking at a passage that has both formed me and given me much need for self-reflection. The passage is Matthew 25: 31- 46

Today we’re going to be looking at the world behind the text of this passage. We see that this passage falls in the midst of Jesus’ teaching leading up to Good Friday. Starting in Matthew 21 we begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday. In the next few chapters, we see Jesus teaching a variety of subjects and contradicting and speaking against the Pharisees, in the way they were leading the people. 

It’s very interesting to see this parable, in the midst of what happens in the rest of Matthew 25, as well as what is to come later in Matthew 26.  We see in Matthew 25 two parables relating to judgment and using our resources.  First, we see the parable of the foolish bridesmaids.  In this passage, five bridesmaids are wise and have what they need for the coming of the groom. Five others though are foolish and are not prepared for what will happen when the bridegroom.  The parable tells us be wise and reading for the coming of the groom, i.e Jesus.  

The next parable is the parable of the talents.  In this parable, we see individuals given talents, by the king. And we see one servant foolishly uses the talent given to him by burying it in the ground.  He is cast in the judgment because of his incorrect use of that talent. 

Then we have this week’s passage the parable of the sheep and goats,  This gives some details to what is alluded to in these earlier passages. These earlier passages, deal with accountability and deal with using our resources.  We see what that looks like, we are to use our resources to help others to feed the hungry, clothe the naked help those in need.

We then see in chapter 26, that these words are not received well because immediately thereafter, Judas begins to betray Jesus, and the chief priest in the elders, again, to formulate a plan to kill Him. We see that Jesus is aspiring to a kingdom greater than this world, and the values of this world will not always be the values of the kingdom. And this could be upsetting. Especially when one’s expecting something different from Jesus. Jesus shows in this passage, what it looks like to live a life of accountability and a life of using our resources well.

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