You know neither the day nor the hour

On January 23 Daily readings we have three parables in Matthew 25 which all convey fundamentally the same lesson. The fact that there are three shows how extremely important the message is. Those who read the Bible regularly will know them well; we must beware of knowing them too well, lest the message loses its power to stir our conscience.

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating...
An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 13:30-34 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first one is of the 10 virgins; half are called “wise”. What made them “wise” as they waited in the darkness for the cry, “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him”? The wise had brought a reserve of oil for their lamps. What does the oil represent? Our conclusion is – it represents “faith”, how terrible to run short of or completely out of faith when the midnight cry is heard. Faith cannot be second-hand, it cannot be replenished in a moment.

The second parable is about talents the Master gives to his servants to use while he is away. They represent, we suggest, the abilities and opportunities to represent the Master in his absence. The final parable is of sheep and goats and of “his glorious throne” when the Master returns. Then, and only then, will it be made plain for all to see which are sheep and which are goats – in the Middle East they look very similar.

The goats will be blind to their failings, “Lord” they will say “when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?” (verse 44). And he will say, “Truly … as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” (verse 45). Put as simply as possible, this is telling us we are either Christ-centred – or self-centred.

We must ask ourselves, ‘Am I labouring effectively in his vineyard?’ or not. It seems to many of our age group (as great grandparents) that the Lord is delaying his coming – but the reason is that the final ingathering is not yet quite complete (see Luke 14:22-23 “still there is room. And the Master said, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges … that my house may be filled’”).

So let Christ’s challenging words at the end of his parable about the virgins ‘illuminate’ our minds “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day not the hour”. This request is more important than ever – for the storm clouds illuminating human helplessness are greater than ever – and the wise virgins need to be together whenever they can. But what are they to “watch” for?

We will read on the 24° of Jesus in the garden with his disciples and his request, “… watch with me … Watch and pray … the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak” (26:40,41). Meditate on the kind of watching Jesus was referring to.

– The Christadelphian Thought for the day

 

  • The Mysterious Cross Around My Neck… (americanholocaustcoming.blogspot.com)
    Most Christians in Americacannot begin to comprehend the horrors that these precious fellow Christians have been enduring because of Islamic persecution there.
  • The Changed Life! (Post #2,022) (ourdailybread101.wordpress.com)
    Tell everyone about the amazing things He does
  • Archaeologists Make One of the Biggest Biblical Discoveries Ever in Jerusalem (conservativetribune.com)
    Archaeologists in the Middle East may have just uncovered something amazing — and it could impact Christians and others around the world. Researchers claim that they have discovered the exact location where Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion.

    Workers were removing part of the floor of an abandoned building in Jerusalem when they found ruins beneath the structure. Experts already knew that the building had been an old prison, but the newly-discovered area is much more ancient.

     

  • Anti-Zionism, Illuminati Christians and a Shocker (omegashock.com)
    I am shocked at the evil thoughts that many hold – while claiming to be followers of Christ. Zion is another name for Jerusalem, and it is at the center of Jewish aspirations for a national homeland – the precise definition of Zionism.
  • Psalm 83 and The Unfolding Middle East Events (watcherslamp.blogspot.com)
    An ancient prophecy written over 3000 years ago reveals that the Arab states and terrorist populations, which presently share common borders with Israel, will soon confederate in order to wipe Israel off of the map. While many of today’s top Bible experts are predicting that Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, and several other countries are going to invade Israel according to a prophecy in Ezekiel 38,
    Bill Salus explains how Psalm 83 occurs prior to this anticipated biblical event.
  • The Arab World’s Vanishing Christians (mareeg.com)
    At a time when the Middle East is aflame with sectarian strife, the observance of the Christian holiday is a sad reminder that the region’s distinctive religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity is rapidly disappearing. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Christians made up roughly 20% of the Arab world. In certain areas – including southern Egypt, the mountains of Lebanon, and southeastern Anatolia – they formed an absolute majority. Today, just 5% of the Arab world is Christian, and many of those who remain are leaving, forced out by persecution and war.
  • NSW olive grove has links to WW1 and bible (abc.net.au)
    The Garden of Gethsemane sits at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and is known as the place where Jesus and his disciples prayed before the crucifixion.

    The garden’s name literally means oil press and a 2012 study in Italy found some of the trees from Gethsemane are the oldest known to science.

     

  • How to stop terrorism (trutherator.wordpress.com)
    Stratofor said the US could be vindicated and punishment delivered to the perpetrators and warning of destruction also delivered for others if they went in, took down the national base for the perps and destroyed their infrastructure. And got out. That would have the desired effect.
  • LISTEN: France sends aircraft carrier to Middle East (Second Coming Watch #579 with Daniel Whyte III) (blackchristiannews.com)
    President Francois Hollande declared on Wednesday that France would dispatch its only aircraft carrier, the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle, to reinforce the campaign against ISIS. Addressing the warship’s crew, Hollande prepared them for a deployment in the Middle East where France has joined the US-led air campaign against the Islamic State. He said the aircraft carrier would allow France to “conduct operations in Iraq, if necessary, with even more intensity and more efficiency. The aircraft carrier will work in close cooperation with coalition forces.”
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