The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Quality And Preparation

"What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?" (Lk.13:18). "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard" (Matt.20:1). "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom" (Matt.25:1).

As we complete this series of parables about what Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to, we will draw on the wisdom of two more teachings. In the 1st parable, a landowner goes to town early in the morning to find workers for his vineyards, agreeing on a wage of one denarius for the job. Not having enough workers, he goes out again on the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 11th hours for more workers. When pay time arrived, he gave them all the same wage as he promised to those who worked all day. This teaching was addressed to the disciples, but has its application in the lives of many others. Peter erroneously thought his reward would be more because they were the 1st both in "time" and toil," the earliest workers in Jesus' vineyard. His thoughts were wrong because eternal life is granted by grace rather than merit. It is the quality of works rather than quantity that counts, and it is how we end the race rather than how we begin it that determines our reward. In the 2nd parable, 10 virgins (us) with their lamps, went out to meet the the bridegroom (Jesus). Five wise virgins had brought along extra oil in case the bridegroom didn't get there for a while, but five foolish ones didn't. When the bridegroom was about to arrive, the foolish ones ran out of oil and tried to borrow from the wise ones but were refused. The bridegroom came when the foolish ones were out buying more oil. Explanation? The foolish could not borrow from the wise because Christianity is an individual matter. We can't borrow "righteousness" from one another. The foolish let the time of preparation slip by and after the bridegroom came, it was too late. The two parables link together for us very well. We are to live a quality life! Our lives should be in a constant state of watchfulness and preparation... If we say, "not now," tomorrow may be too late. Aren't Jesus' teachings fantastic....

Have a great day... T   G   I   F         Thank God I'm Forgiven.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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