Matthew 26:6–13 (ESV)
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured
it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold
for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For
you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial.13 Truly,
I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Some see this as wasteful,
but I see it as prophetic. She is anointing Jesus body for death. What is Jesus’s death worth to you??? Jesus gave everything… that is… his life for you and me. If the oil had been cheap, would this story even be
in the Bible? I would like to think so, because she is preparing him for death. The Lutheran Study Bible states: A woman anoints Jesus, which greatly offends His disciples. They take offense where no offense should be taken. Jesus, however, commends
the woman, because her action points to His death for the world, which in turn points to His love for you.
I pray: Strengthen
our faith, dear God, to focus on Christ’s death and resurrection for us and not on distractions. Amen.
Matthew 26:1–5 (ESV)
The Plot to Kill Jesus
Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth
and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
If the Law says “Thou shalt not murder,”
then why are they trying to murder Jesus? It is easy to point your finger at other people, yet often difficult to see your own sins. The chief priests and elders are not looking into the mirror, so they don’t see themselves. The Lutheran
Study Bible states: “Both Jesus and His enemies long for His impending death. They plot to kill Him, but He longs to offer up His life for them and for the whole world. Pray for those who oppose the Gospel. Despite such opposition, the Lord is at work
for the good of His people.”
I pray: How great is Your love, O Jesus! Grant me courage in the face of all trouble. Amen.
Matthew 25:31–46 (ESV)
The Final Judgment
the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the
sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I
was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give
you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And
the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those
on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I
was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a
stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
On the Last Day, Jesus will separate true believers from hypocrites and those who reject Him. The faithful will be vindicated and welcomed into heaven, while unbelievers will be condemned. Having received forgiveness through faith
in Christ, God’s flock eagerly await the day on which they shall be publicly vindicated and receive eternal life.
I pray: Grant us a faith that perseveres
until the end, O Lord. Move us by Your Spirit, that our good works continually glorify You and benefit our neighbors. Amen.
Matthew 25:14–30 (ESV)
The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.15 To one he gave five talents, to another
two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.17 So
also he who had the two talents made two talents more.18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 Now
after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered
to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into
the joy of your master.’22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’23 His
master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’24 He also who had received the one
talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed,25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.
Here you have what is yours.’26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?27 Then
you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.29 For
to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
In an equal world, wouldn’t they have all received 5 talents? Have you ever thought about
the parable give 5 talents to one, to another two talents, and to the other one talent? In this day and age, the world demands equality, but that is not how God works. He gives different gifts to different people. Some are given more and
some are given less. This parable is not about “how much,” but about “what you do with it.” The Lutheran Study Bible states “Our relationship to God and the world is one of stewardship. We are to use everything entrusted
to us in such a way that it benefits God’s kingdom. Though modern people often have far more material and technological means than any previous generation, they often use these tools selfishly. An unfailing promise attaches to faithful stewardship: if
we use the things entrusted to us for God and His purposes, we will be blessed here and in heaven.
I pray: Give me a faithful heart, Likeness to Thee,
That each departing day Henceforth may see Some work of love begun, Some deed of kindness done, Some wand’rer sought and won, Something for Thee.” Amen.
Matthew 25:1–13 (ESV)
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For
when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But
at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give
us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And
while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
I always find this parable difficult to understand, because I usually start off on the wrong foot when I interpret it. I want to come down on the five wise virgins
who were not willing to share their oil. We should want to share our faith and not hold it back. But this is a wrong interpretation. This is not about sharing faith, but it is whether you have faith or not. When the Bridegroom comes…
you either have faith or you don’t. Those with faith go to heaven and those who do not have faith go to hell. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Jesus warns that many invited to share in the eternal joy of His kingdom will miss out by
failing to have a living faith at the end. Though some will be condemned for heinous crimes and gross sins, many more will fail to enter heaven because they neglected their faith. Even so, no matter how depleted our faith is, Jesus’ grace can fill us
to overflowing with a single word.
I pray: Keep us ever filled to overflowing, O Lord, that we continually abound in faith, hope, and love for You. Amen.