T H E K ING ’S BUS INESS
not ready were shut out. In what readiness consists is seen in 1 John 2 :28; Rev. _J9: 7, 8; Heb. 12:14;. Luke 21:3436. This marriage feast is well worth coming to and worthy of earnest preparation (Rev. 19:9). No sooner had the bridegroom gone in than the “door was ¡shut” Those are ominous words. The door is now open to all (John 10:9), but soon it will be open to no one (Luke 13:25-28). The virgins were now most eager to get in but it was too late. Christ will not acknowledge them. He knows His “sheep,” “them that art His” (John 10:27; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Cor. 8:3), but not those who have a mere out ward profession of faith without the abid ing presence and power of the Spirit.^ Hy pocrites will some day awaken to the dif ference between themselves and real Spirit- filled Christians, when Jesus comes again. The chief point of difference between this and the preceding parable is that there was an unreadiness for the Lord’s return in each, but in the former parable the fail ure was in inward life (lack of abiding supplies of the Holy Spirit) and in this parable the failure is in neglect of oppor tunities to use the gifts received. The “man going into another country” (R. V.), is Jesus Christ; the other country is heaven (John 14:2-6). At His going, He bestowed gifts upon His disciples (Eph. 4:8, 11, 12; 1 Peter 4:10). These gifts are “his goods” or more literally, “things belonging to Him.” “His own servants (bond ser vants)” are all His disciples, considered as purchased property and working for Him. The talents represent the gifts of the Spirit (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4, 8, 11, 28; Eph. 4:8-11). He did not give the same amount to all, but varied the gifts according to the “several ability” of each servant to use them. But no servant was left without a gift. The least sum mentioned is one tal ent (which equals $1200). The most poor ly-gifted servant of Christ has enough given to him to do something with. Re- Sunday, April 18. Matt, 25:1418.
virgins to take rest as they were all ready, but if they had been awake they might have seen the sorry plight of the .others before it was too, late.
Saturday, April 17. Matt. 25:6-13.
Both wise and foolish were awakened by the startling cry, “Behold the bridegroom.” The sleeping Church will be awakened in a similar way (1 Thess. 4:16; John 5:28, 29). His coming is represented as being “at midnight,” to emphasize the startling unexpectedness of it (cf. ch. 24:44). Per haps it is meant also to hint at the spiritual, darkness that will be upon the earth when our Lord comes (cf. Luke 18:8; 1 Tim. 4:1 ; -2 Tim. 3:1-5). The last part of .the cry will startle many, “Go ye forth to meet Him” (R. V.). Are we ready "to meet Him”? The virgins roused up and thought to make final preparation for His coming, but it was too late to make such a prepara tion. Fortunately, five had little prepara tion to make at that late hour. Alas ! for the other five who had. In their trouble, they turned to the prepared ones, but they could get no help there. The five wise had only enough for themselves. The wisdom of one cannot make up for the foolishness of another, and the goodness of one cannot make up for the< sin of another (v. 9). There is no room in Bible thought for the application to others of the merits of the saints (cf. Rom. 14:12; Ps. 49:7-9; Jer. 15:1; Ezek. 14 :14-16, 20; 1 Peter 4:18). No one can possibly have any more grace than he needs for himself. The wise tell them to go to the original source of supply and obtain for themselves (v. 9). It is of Christ Himself that oil is to be bought (Rev. 3:18). The price is, “without money and without price” (Isa. 55:1). The Holy Spirit is to be obtained for the simple ask ing (Luke 11:13). The foolish followed the advice of the wise but it was too late. “While they, went to buy, the bridegroom came.”- So it will be with all .who put off securing thei Holy Spirit too long. “They that were ready” went in. They that were
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