Judas Iscariot agrees with the chief priests to betray Jesus. The plan was to do this “in the absence of the multitude”. Matthew (26:15) tells us they agreed on the price of 30 pieces of silver.
Judas was chosen by Jesus, had been with Him for at least two years, and had witnessed His miracles. What do we learn from the fact that he became a traitor?
An interesting question about this incident is its similarity to the anointing recorded in John 12. You can compare the two and come to your own conclusion concerning if it is the same or a later similar event. There is a third anointing recorded in Luke 7 but that is clearly a different event.
A woman anoints Jesus head with very costly oil. The disciples object to what they consider to be a waste but Jesus defends the woman. He says she did this for His burial and says “the poor you have with you always”.
How do we balance Jesus defense of the woman, “the poor you have with you always” with our obligation to help the poor such as taught in Matthew 25’s parable of the sheep and goats?
This serves as kind of a transition from Jesus teaching in the temple on Monday and Tuesday to the events leading up to Jesus arrest. Jesus tells His apostles again what is going to happen. Then we see the Jewish leaders plotting to kill Him.
Interesting, they want to kill Him, but not during the feast they say. Jesus of course will be killed during the feast which fulfills his prediction as well as the Old Testament shadow of the Passover Lamb. How does that show who is really in charge?
This parable starts with Jesus coming with His holy angels and sitting on His throne with all nations gathered before Him. He then separates the masses like a shepherd separates sheep from goats. The parable ends with the multitudes receiving their destinies of either everlasting punishment or eternal life.
This completes the three parables of Matthew 25. How does each (Wise and Foolish Virgins, Talents, and the Sheep and Goats) emphasize a different aspect of our duty to God? What particular duty does this parable emphasize?
The parable of the talents is very similar to the parable of the pounds or minas recorded in Luke 19 that we read just a few weeks ago. In this case a man delivers talents to his servants, to one five talents, to another two, to another one. Just like the parable of the pounds, the first two men gained more but the one talent man hid his talent in the ground and made nothing with it. The two who made more are rewarded and the one who did nothing is cast into outer darkness.
The emphasis of the three judgment parables in Matthew 25 seems to be giving reasons why some fall short. There is a negative lesson in each. The five foolish virgins refused to be prepared and ready. How would you summarize the warning of the parable of the talents?
The next three days we will look at three parables about judgment.
Today we read about the wise and foolish virgins. The five foolish virgins were unprepared and were left out of the wedding when the bridegroom came.
Compare this parable to the sad case of those unprepared for Jesus return. What similarities do you see. (There may be many).
Jesus continues to warn about the coming judgment and the need to always be watching and ready. Much of Matthew 24 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It may be that He is now talking about the final spiritual judgment of all men. Another possibility is that the warnings are general in nature and apply to both of God’s judgements, the physical first, but also the universal judgment after Jesus’ second coming. In either case, WE MUST WATCH AND BE READY!
Jesus likens His coming to the days of Noah. What comparison does He make? How are the two judgments similar?
That title will certainly get your attention!
The prophets often used similar dramatic language to describe God’s judgment on sinful nations. (See Isaiah 13:9,10 or 19:1 for examples.) So, though the language sounds like the end of the world, that is not necessarily what it refers to.
Another view is that He is talking about the coming destruction in AD 70. As we saw yesterday that fits the context better, and if that is the correct application then verse 34 makes perfect sense: “this generation will not pass away till all these things take place”.
The beauty of the passage is that Jesus is warning His followers so that they will not be killed when Jerusalem is destroyed. Instead of “when you see the abomination of desolation” Luke’s account says “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies then you know its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20).
Imagine that! Followers of Jesus would know the city was about to be destroyed and flee and their lives would be spared! What promise did Jesus make to His followers in Luke’s account (Luke 21:18)?
This controversial chapter is the source of the popular “signs of the end times” prophecies that are so popular in modern religion.
We should keep in mind the context going back to chapter 23 and the predictions regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and also (and maybe most importantly) what Jesus says in verses 2 about the temple. The word “age” in verse 3 is sometimes translated “world” but the greek word aion is defined as “an age, a period of time”. It may, but does not necessarily, refer to the end of the world.
An alternative to the “signs of the times of the end of the world” view is that Jesus is giving His followers signs regarding the coming destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in AD 70. Feel free to object to this possibility if you feel strongly otherwise.
Some see verse 14 as a clear indication Jesus must be talking about the end of the world. What does Colossians 1:23 say was true about the gospel when Paul wrote the letter to Colossae?
Again Jesus foretells the coming punishment of the Jewish nation. This has been a theme the first part of the week as He has been teaching in the temple.
What principles concerning God’s judgments do you see in this passage that would apply not only to the first century Jews but could also be applied to all men whose lives are against the will of God?