The kingdom of heaven is Jesus’ favorite theme upon which to teach. He addresses the issue of when he is going to be coming back again and what we need to do in order to be prepared when he comes back again. In the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids we have those who are ready for the second coming of Christ and they bring along extra supplies just in case he delays. The constant theme that we hear over and over again is that we just simply do not know when he is coming, but he is coming, and we have to be ready. We can’t go off and live our own lives that are devoid of Jesus’ influence and think that we are going to be ready when he comes back again.
The parable of the reproduced talents is also one of my favorites because it does emphasize how we have to work with what God has given us. It raises the point that each of us is given something different from those around us. If we do not risk for the sake of the kingdom of God then Jesus will find us lacking. There are some really harsh and strong words in this parable, but words that should not shock us, but rather motivate us.
The final parable of the sheep and goats emphasizes more what we do while we are on this earth and the ways in which we use our resources for our neighbors around us. We never stress that we will be judged in any way upon our actions here on this earth because we recognize that we can never work hard enough or do enough in order to justify our salvation on our works. But this parable should give us pause. If we have no regard for the least of these, then Jesus will have no regard for us. Those are strong words because our Savior wants us to be strong in the way in which we follow him.
Let’s talk a little about parables. Jesus’ disciples ask him why he insists on teaching in parables back in Matthew 13. Do you remember the parable of the sower? Jesus answers that he teaches in parables because he wants to reveal the kingdom of heaven to some, but hide it from others. There are those who are so intent on their own welfare and their own life that what happens around them and to their neighbor seems insignificant to them. To them is hidden the lessons from these parables. Stories are powerful mediums in which to hide the truths of God. God desires us to know that He is coming back again, and wants us to be ready. But He also does not tell us exactly when that will be so that we will always be ready.