Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Sheep and Goats

Already But Not Yet – The Day of the LORD
Sheep and Goats

Matthew 25:31 – 46

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The text for this coming Sunday is the 3rd story in a row Jesus told after teaching about the coming of the ‘Son of Man,’ to describe what it will be like.  The emphasis of all three (Ten Virgins, Bags of Gold, Sheep and the Goats) is a WORD to be watchful, ready, and prepared for his return.   

In the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus describes the separating of sheep and goats on the criteria of evidence of ‘sheep-like or goat-like’ behavior.  It’s interesting that the sheep and the goats both are surprised at Jesus’ words of blessing and warning based on their behavior.  The surprise on the part of the sheep is beautiful.  The surprise on the part of the goats is tragic.  

I also found it worthy of note that in our ‘woke’ society of today, where we accentuate differences between one another on just about anything and everything, Jesus doesn’t separate sheep and goats based on skin color, type of fur, whether one has horns or not, ethnicity, political affiliation (you name it) – separation is based solely on behavior and character.  Instead, Jesus separates sheep from goats based on whether or not they did these things (fed hungry, quenched thirst, clothed naked, visited sick or in prison) to the least one of these brothers and sisters of His.  The separation is based on behavior and character – evidence of belonging or not belonging to Jesus.

Matthew and his use of ‘least’ and ‘brothers and sisters’ throughout his book should give us the right direction.  If Jesus means to emphasize the behavior and character toward brothers and sisters of faith, how might that understanding give interpretation to the text?  I found this insight to be enlightening (like lightning).  

‘See’ you Sunday,
    Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Bags of Gold


Already But Not Yet – The Day of the LORD
Bags of Gold

Matthew 25:14-30

Why does Jesus tell stories to illustrate his coming again that end with phrases like, “Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” or “Truly, I tell you, I don’t know you” or “They will go away to eternal punishment.”

It seems that when Jesus tells us a story about a future Day of the Lord, he is seeking an effect/affect in the lives of his hearers in the present.  That would be true of us today as well.  Why tell us stories of what it will be like on that day with stories about Ten Virgins and the need for oil in their lamps, or Bags of Gold and what people do with them, or Sheep and Goats in the ways that they behave?  

I think Jesus is giving us a heads up.  We have a life to live.  One that is a gift from God.  One that has been redeemed by God.  One that can be lived for light or darkness.  One that serves the Master or one that serves mammon or self.  In these stories of Jesus about what it will be like when he returns, he provides an opportunity for change and direction in life for the present.  

What is God’s will for our life in the here and now?  How ought we to live today in a way where God will say on that ‘Day’, “Come to the wedding banquet.  Well done good and faithful servant, come, share in my Master’s happiness.  Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”?

Jesus’ parables in Matthew 25, about the Day of the Lord, stimulate repentance, commitment, and faithfulness to the Father’s will in the here and now.  Sunday, we look forward, so that we may know how we ought to live now.  Sunday, the 2nd of three parables from Matthew 15:14-30, Bags of Gold.  

Come and join us as we sit at Jesus feet,

Pastor Mark  

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Ten Virgins


The Ten Virgins
Matthew 25: 1-13

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this week we continue with our theme, Already, But Not Yet – The Day of the Lord, by looking at three parables of Jesus over the next three week: The Ten Virgins, Bags of Gold, The Sheep and the Goats.

Context matters in order to better understand any text of Scripture.  In preparation for Sunday’s message, read Matthew Chapters 23-24.  These chapters set up the next three weeks of parables from Matthew 25.  Looking forward to diving into the text with you from Matthew 25:1-13.  What does it mean to be ready for Jesus’ return?  How does it look?  What does it mean and look like to ‘put oil in our lamps’?  See you Sunday, online or in person, we will engage the Word together, anyway we can.      

In the name and power of our risen Lord Jesus,
Pastor Mark