This chapter contains three judgment parables. A parable is a simple story told to illustrate spiritual truth. At the end of time all mankind will be judged by the Lord. We will be judged by his the standard of his Word, and according to our deeds. None will escape this judgment; it is universal (John 5:28-29; Acts 17:31; Rom. 14:9-12; 2 Cor. 5:9-10). We must live in awareness that time will end and that we will stand before God. Let us be prepared (2 Pet. 3:11-18).
The parable of the Ten Virgins tells us that we must be prepared to serve God for the long haul. The foolish virgins did not have enough oil for their lamps; they became drowsy and fell asleep. We must be alert and ready all our lives for the coming of the Lord. We are in this for the long haul.
The Parable of the Talents is about stewardship of life’s gifts. The lesson is based on usage of differing amounts of money. The talent was a measure of money. Whatever God gives us to use in the way of time, skill, and material blessings must be used faithfully and judiciously. God will expect to find that we have done well with our blessings. He will hope to find the fruit of a life well-lived. A faithful family, good influence, souls saved, etc.
The Parable of the Sheep and Goats tells us that God will separate the righteous and the unrighteous and send us to respective eternal destinies. How we treat our fellowman figures heavily into judgment. Jesus indicates that how we treat one another is how we would treat the Lord if he were among us. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40). Notice that the devil and his messengers will be punished with eternal fire. Let us serve God faithfully so that we will have no fear of facing him in judgment.
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of Matthew’s gospel. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.