Genesis 38 / Psalms 41-43 / Matthew 25
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
The parables of chapter 25 are the second half of the answer Jesus gave to the question the disciples asked at the beginning of chapter 24:
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
Even though it seems like he is answering them, what he ultimately tells them is just that there will be no sign by which any one could figure out when it would happen. Also, that he's most likely talking about the "coming back" that happened in the first century, when after he had gone to the Father he was able to be like the Father was for himself—the spirit whose life was able to inhabit the bodies of those chosen for eternal life, which meant being in the kingdom of the hidden Father, the family He has been planning and gathering through all the years that the present creation has existed.
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
No one knows the day or hour, so the best course of action then is like the owner of a house who never knows when a thief is coming. He stays ready all the time, and keeps himself prepared, which is the analogy for taking advantage of the life that was going to be given to some in the first century, to transform them from animal to son of God. The opportunity would be coming to them shortly and no one knew when.
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
It turns out that it wasn't very long at all that they had to wait for him to be coming back to them, which was this phenomenon of the spirit that is recorded in the NT letters as having been present, which is the coming back that the Son promised to those who trusted and believed that he was who he said he was. Being ready by conforming to the spirit's work of transformation from wild animal to a son who is conformed to the Father's will is much more important than knowing when things are going to happen, which is a total animal thing to know. The animal that still drives the sons may want to know, but they can't know when things will happen as part of the new nature. The need to know all the details is how the old nature can control what happens. The animal that wants to rule us will always want to do that to manipulate and control our environment and have that power for ourselves, which we naturally crave because it makes us think we'll survive better.
Losing our lives is giving up that control and power of being able to decide when, where and what's going to happen to us based on our knowledge, which leads to our ability to control it, and is why it's evil to keep wanting to know things like when, where, how and what—a huge part of the old nature that's hard to come away from, because that's how we're used to finding the animal agreement that gives us the hope and motivation to continue. Being ready is being okay with *not* having knowledge of the details like when the thief and bridegroom are coming. Understanding that creates a choice to either be ready or deciding it's not worth it. That's what the parables are about, the sons who either decide it's worth it or not, because it's a huge price to pay so you either have to believe it or not believe it, because there is no middle road to the Father.
The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out: `Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
`No,' they replied, `there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Later the others also came. `Sir! Sir!' they said. `Open the door for us!'
But he replied, `I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
The foolish ones decided for themselves that they knew he would come shortly, on the schedule they thought best. It is like one who doesn't want to be conformed to another way than that which they have decided is the way they're going to go. The oil incident represents the animal choosing its own way instead of being conformed to another (the Father's) reality and will, which means painfully exposing our hiding places that we keep under guard. It's about the virgins who decided that they knew what was best, and acted according to that decision to do what they wanted to do.
The subjects of the parables are the sons who are offered the life of the Father and Son living in them, what was called the spirit, the voice of the Teacher, the living word—the substance of the new covenant. For the disciples at the time Jesus spoke to them about his coming back, that was what he was talking about, when after he went to the Father to become One with Him, that new Father/Son life would come back to inhabit them.
So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
The mind set of the humans, even those closest to him was still the restoration of Israel as a natural phenomenon. But Jesus had already said what the kingdom was, not a thing one could observe, but that it was within a person that the kingdom had its fulfillment.
The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, `Here it is,' or `There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you.
Only there could it be observed, by the one it inhabited. The phenomenon of Israel being the copy of God's family was over, along with the old covenant, of the natural, the observable, of words on stone tablets.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
That which was coming to them, but had not yet come, was the only important thing for the sons of God to worry about. That is, what they did with that treasure once it did come. The oil for the lamps and the property given to the servants was the life that would be coming to them. What the subjects of the parables did with the valuable thing is the important thing. Those who were right held what they needed and was entrusted to them as highly valuable. They made sure they had enough of it, and they protected what they had. They did what was necessary to make sure that what had been entrusted to them grew by nurturing it.
The details that the sons need to know about are what the life is, how to recognize it as treasure, how to protect that treasure and nurture it so that it grows inside them instead of being stagnant or going away because they love the things of their old life and way more than their ability to believe, which is the true reaction of belief, not just words and knowledge about the life.
Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
Although the old man goes about all day long, trying to find something that can make it feel good, it can never be satisfied. It's constantly driven to find satisfaction and fulfillment in every little notion or possibility. A thing it may have found in the past, or thinks it could possibly find now, some way to appease its search for peace. Getting something, living in the hope of getting it, living in the hope of having enough of this or that to find happiness, some freedom from the worries of life. Finding some person who will make everything easy for us. Having this or that, becoming thus or such a person. Attaining some level of whatever. As long as there's some sort of value in it, according to the humans, then it might be worth having or being, and it might be the thing that can satisfy.
These constant aspirations of the human, driven by the old nature's never ending desire to find peace, are based on some intangible and irrational expectations that it will find the fulfillment it is led to believe is somewhere in the world. If we could just have enough money, or looks, or success to get at it—a bigger house or a better car, kids who look like us and do what we do, therefore validating our own lives—then we might find peace in the world. If we can satisfy our appetite for food, sex, or any number of things the world promises will satisfy us, then it might be enough. The truth, though, is that it's all a lie, and there is no peace in the world. The chaos of the flesh leads the animal on and on, down the same roads it keeps taking in search of the peace that it cannot find.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
There is no peace except that which is imparted to us from the Father and Son living inside our heart. That is the connection and fellowship that the spirit of truth brings to us, unexplainable in human language or experience. It only happens to those whom God has chosen to be His children; to have Himself revealed to them via the Lord, who is the spirit. It is not indifferently operating in the world, looking for anyone who has the slightest desire to know God. It is surgical, like a sharp sword, intended to accomplish a specific purpose each time it goes out into the world, based on what God desires, not any man or group of men.
What the humans want from their god, if they ever even want it, is some fantastical show of supernatural power that can appeal to their earthly senses. They think they can see God with their human eyes and believe with their human hearts, aligned with what they know in their human mind and consciousness. Yet another experience they can evaluate with their senses as good or bad, thereby being able to decide whether to believe or not believe, based on so many natural conditions being met or unmet.
The Lord was taken out of the world, the visible signal that his peace cannot be found there. He went to the Father, who lives in another world which cannot be fathomed by man's feeble (because it's natural) mind. It is invisible to the humans, another dimension existing as matter unlike anything that the humans are familiar with or could comprehend. Not seeable, recognizable, touchable or fathomable to the humans' senses, normally used to evaluate things and categorize them as true or untrue, good or bad, desirable or undesirable.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
The Lord was different than the humans—why was he different? Without the Father living in him, he would have been just like any other human dominated by the animal nature, bound to live and then die, to go back to the ground from whence he came (like the first Adam, the first son made by God in His image). Not because he was a god—the abominators' explanation of why he was different than all other men—but because of the fellowship of the spirit of the Father, who lived in him to teach him the new way, the secret things about the life that is truly life.
...so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Eventually, after 30 or so years of being taught by the invisible spirit of God, he was so thoroughly trained by the voice of the Teacher about the new way that he was ready to do the work for which he had been made. He taught as one who had authority, unlike the leaders who had assumed earthly power and authority. Trained by men in the ways of man, they possessed only an earthly understanding about the things of God, and were ineffective concerning Him. Why was he so much more trained than the experts?
There's no way for a human to actually understand the things of God, the purpose of the word in the heavenly places, without the guidance of the spirit within it. That's why all the presumptions and claims of the religious groups are wrong, because they assume to have what the first century sons had. If we think about how Jesus was raised, how he was taught about the true things of God, we can imagine that it didn't come from any man or group of men. When all the others were learning the ways of man, and of Israel from man's standpoint, the Lord was being brought up by the invisible voice of God who was teaching him about Israel from His standpoint.
The Father was with him from the beginning, even in the womb of Mary, until the one period of time on the cross when He had to turn away from His Son and make him unclean. Because the Father cannot dwell in an unclean temple, He had to depart form dwelling in the Lord's body. Perhaps the only time in the Lord's life, the Father left him to die with all the sin of the sons piled on him, alone.
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
God turned away from him, left his body, and did not come back until 3 days later, to reward the good Son for his work and obedience. It only appeared to Jesus that the Father was gone for good, and he had to believe that He would not leave him as an orphan. Although it must have appeared to him that that might have been the case, as he experienced for the first time the life of the wild animal—an existence completely void of the presence of God inside him to reassure him who he was and the love He had for him—so that he could become the serpent on the pole and save the family of sons for the Father's sake. A horrible thing indeed for one who had never known the reality of the darkness of the animal, unable to comprehend God's love.