The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 25: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/25?lang=eng
Home at Last by Danny Hahlbohm
In our previous reading of Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus told His disciples that, at His Second Coming, the time for preparation would be past. Here again, in Matthew Chapter 25, He tells us the importance of being ready, of putting Him first.
In this chapter, we read three parables that illustrate the qualities of those who have prepared to meet the Savior and those who have not. In other words, they tell us what we need to work on, what we need to do to prepare to meet Him. We are familiar with these parables, but it is interesting to note how many times the Lord uses a different parable to teach the same truth. These stories individually will trigger understanding in each of us individually. Read all of them (they can be found in the link above) and decide which one is addressed to you this day.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins: Read Matthew Chapter 25, verses 1 through 13.
Do we sometimes, in our excitement to live the gospel, forget to do the most essential things? Do we neglect our relationship with Him? That seems to be what is missing among the five foolish virgins; otherwise, why would the Lord say to these five,
“Verily I say unto you, I know you not” (vs. 12).
Had they ever asked, prior to His midnight arrival,
“Lord, Lord, open to us” (vs. 11).
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (vs. 13).
We need to develop more than a social conversion, where we know others in our congregations. We need to know Him, and we need to be ready to meet Him at His Coming.
The Parable of the Talents: Read Matthew Chapter 25, verses 14 through 30.
Now this parable caused me some concern and self-reflection.
The Lord really does not care how much money we earn, but He does care about our souls becoming more developed and prepared to meet Him. He does care about how we use our time. He does care about how we use the gifts He has give us? Do we use our time, talents, and energy to serve and strengthen one another and help each other progress?
Are we afraid to live the gospel? Do we share the good news? Is our light set upon a candlestick for all to see and to give light to others, or do we hide it under a bushel? Do we make excuses for our shortcomings and weaknesses? Do we blame them on others or even on the Lord, saying things like, “That’s just how I am; that’s how God created me?” He who gave us power to reason, agency, and free will likely not accept that excuse. Do we envy other people’s gifts and despise our own?
The Lord has given us the tools and capability to progress. Do we use them? Do we exercise our faith in Him as we go about our daily lives, so that we are more fully following Him, putting into practice those things that the Spirit tells us to do? Are we developing our love for Him and for our fellowmen in the things we are choosing to do with our time, in the ways we are using our talents? Are we choosing our own paths, or following Him?
Are we living in fear? Do we accept the lies that are tossed to us be the adversary and screamed at us by the masses? Or do we listen to His Still Small Voice, and continue on the path of discipleship that He has set for us?
Are we using the time He has given us to serve Him? What do we choose to do with our discretionary time? How can we improve upon our time?
Do we ask, “Thy will be done,” and then do it? Or do we take the coward’s road?
Which greeting do we desire to hear at His coming?
“Thou wicked and slothful servant” (vs. 26) is one that I hope to avoid.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (vs. 21, 23).
Are we profitable to Him?
The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: Read Matthew Chapter 25, verses 31 through 46.
What distinguishes the sheep from the goats? The sheep follow the Shepherd. They do His works.
Do we love the Lord? Do we love our neighbor as ourselves? Do we desire to make the load lighter for others? Do we bring comfort, good cheer, and peace?
The Good Shepherd cares for His flock. He cares for you. In taking upon us His name, have we truly enlisted to serve Him and do His works? Do we, like Peter, love Him? Do we feed His sheep?
What are some of the expectations of discipleship? Alma gives a good list to those people who are preparing to enter into the covenant of baptism:
“Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life — Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you” (Mosiah 18:8-10)?
If we profess to be His disciples, we can do no less. Are we becoming Christians in our hearts? Is it becoming part of our nature to go about doing good things? How can we care for others? How can we more fully serve them? What can I do personally? That I should do.
Will we be among those privileged to hear the Lord welcoming us into His kingdom?
‘Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”
‘Then shall the righteous answer him, saying,
“Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?”
‘And the King shall answer and say unto them,
“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (vs. 34-40).