Today’s focus is Matthew 25:31-46, a passage about final judgment. The text reveals a Jesus who, along with angels, will come and gather all the nations, dividing everyone between good and evil, sheep and goats, right and left. Jesus places himself at the center of this psychodrama, saying that he is the king who will decide who gets to pass into heaven or, sadly, into a lake of fire which is also reserved for Satan and his entourage. For those who crave stark dichotomies, the idea of dividing everyone into either good or evil at a final judgement is irresistible. The Bible words suggest thatRead More →

Today message arises from Jesus’ parable about talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Jesus’ overt language focuses on using talents—ancient units of money—in a manner that multiplies through wise investment. What was an ancient talent worth? The closest reckoning indicates that in Jesus’ day, one talent was the amount that an ordinary day laborer would receive in twenty years.             In the parable, three slaves had each received talents from a departing owner. One slave received five talents, the second was given two, and the third received only one talent, each according to their ability (an important qualification). When the master returned, he demanded an account of whatRead More →

Today’s focus is Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus’ stark parable about bridesmaids and lamps. The story reveals five wise bridesmaids who were prepared with extra lamp oil, and five foolish bridesmaids who chose not to bring extra oil. The situation became serious when the man of honor arrived, the bridegroom who would soon be married.  The bridegroom became angry when he discovered that only the five wise bridesmaids with extra oil were prepared for his imminent wedding celebration. Prior to the bridegroom’s arrival, the foolish bridesmaids tried to get the wise five to lend them some oil. “‘No!’” was the reply from the wise bridesmaids, who rightlyRead More →

  Today’s message includes insights from both Micah 3:5-12 and Matthew 23:1-12. The timeless topic includes avoiding false prophets while also practicing what you preach. Or put another way, avoid life-destroying hypocrisy by matching your life walk with your religious talk. “Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry ‘Peace’ when they have something to eat, but declare war against those who put nothing into their mouths” (Micah 3:5). This verse highlights fake religious prophets, those who speak from comfort and convenience but who have no sympathy or empathy for the vast majority of citizens trying to survive. ThisRead More →