Sunday, 6 October 2013

Found out in the end - Matthew 24:36 to 25:46 (first part)

Rather than pull an individual story apart look at the bigger sweep. Jesus gives a long speech from Matthew 24 through to the end of 25. He talks about 'the end' when time as we know it is wrapped up.

Things pick up in v36 where he bids his followers to learn to live on the edge, expecting Jesus to return at any moment. All that follows then seems to make the same point: what will Jesus find you doing in the end?

A pre-amble plus 4 scenarios, 3 in story form. Do we have the house in order, feeding others? Do we have what is required (the oil) when needed? Have we invested what God has given us? Then the climax story, the great scene of the King of Kings doing the final sorting out.

Taken together, the 'oil' in the ten bridesmaids story is reasonably interpreted as our faith put into action. The pre-amble talks of us knowing our master's business and attending to it diligently rather than squandering. The investment story is not about the actual amounts, nor the headline success, but rather our faithfulness versus the lack of faith by burying what God has given. The final story is shocking - not because of the sorting per se, but due to the criteria: have you been serving the last, the least, and the lost?

All doing, hence the key question:

[UP] Is our faith static (like a museum piece), or dynamic (seen in action)?

But are we not saved by faith, rather than some kind amassing points through good actions?

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