Matthew 25:1-13


Matthew 25:1-13
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  • Reading the Text:
  • Historical References, Commentary and Comparative Texts:
    • The Five Gospels Parallels, John W. Marshall, University of Toronto.
    • "Vigilance," Comparative World Scriptures from United Communities of Spirit.
    • "The Unknown Time," The Jesus Database, an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus. Dr. Gregory C. Jenks, FaithFutures Foundation.
    • XLIII.9-21; Tatian's Diatessaron (c. 150-160).
    • II.XXIV.4, II.XXVII.2, V.X.1, Adversus Haereses, Irenaeus of Lyons. (c. 180)
    • VI.14, Stromata, Clement of Alexandria (c 200)
    • Chapter XXII, On Modesty, Tertullian (c. 217)
    • VI.V, Against Celsus, Origen (c. 246)
    • Latin text of Augustine's Sermon 93 (Mt 25:1-13).
    • Sermon 93 English Text, Augustine
    • Homily LXXVIII - Matthew 25:1-30, Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew, St. Chrysostom (c. 380)
    • From the Catena Aurea, Patristic Commentary by St Thomas Aquinas.
    • From the Geneva Notes.
      • "We must desire strength from God's hand which may serve us as a torch while we walk through this darkness, to bring us to our desired end: otherwise, if we become slothful and negligent because we are weary of our pains and travail, we shall be kept from entering the doors."
    • From Matthew Henry's Commentary.
      • "Sincere Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones."
    • The Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matt 25:13): sermon by George Whitefield.
      • "Observe, the wise, the true believers, had their lamps as well as the foolish virgins; for Christianity does not require us to cast off all outward forms; we may use forms, and yet not be formal."
    • From Wesley's Notes.
      • "He that watches has not only a burning lamp, but likewise oil in his vessel. And even when he sleepeth, his heart waketh. He is quiet; but not secure."
    • From the Commentary on the Whole Bible (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, 1871).
      • "This supplies a key to the parable, whose object is, in the main, the same as that of the last parable--to illustrate the vigilant and expectant attitude of faith, in respect of which believers are described as "they that look for Him" (Heb 9:28), and "love His appearing" (2Ti 4:8)."
    • From The People's New Testament, B.W. Johnson, 1891.
      • "The betrothal, which took place some time before the marriage, was a kind of solemn marriage contract, but preliminary to its final consummation. When the time for the celebration of the marriage came, the bridegroom came to the house of the bride and brought her by night to his own house. The virgin bridesmaids awaited his coming and attended the bride to the marriage feast."
  • Contemporary Commentary, Studies, and Exegesis:
    • Commentary, Matthew 25:1-13, Greg Carey, Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2014.
      • "Our discomfort with the parable of the virgins likely arises from self-awareness. Most of us know ourselves as wise in some contexts and foolish in others."
    • "Hope and Help for Foolish Bridesmaids," David Lose, ...in the meantime, 2014.
      • "...focus on the core issue of waiting and admit, quite frankly, that the kind of waiting Matthew is encouraging through this parable is hard. Waiting for something way over due, waiting for something you're not sure will even come, waiting that involves active preparation when you're not even sure what you should be preparing for. That kind of waiting is challenging."
    • "Since We Have to Wait, We'd Better Get to Work," Matthew L. Skinner, ON Scripture, Odyssey Networks, 2014. Video: Reuniting Immigrant Families on Long Island.
      • "Faithful readiness must be active readiness. It means saying that even though the wedding banquet hasn't yet begun, together we will act as if it has."
    • "You Are Late," Michael Coffey, 2014.
    • "How To Wait," Karoline Lewis, Dear Working Preacher, 2014.
      • "Our preaching this week needs to claim that waiting is simply the reality of life."
    • "Distilling the Gospel - the Bridesmaids," podcast, David Henson and Mark Sandlin 2014.
    • "The Breaking of the Bridesmaides: Rethinking a problematic parable," David Henson, 2014.
      • "In the end, Jesus says, those on their way to heaven will be decided by what they gave away, whether they fed the poor, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, visited the sick and imprisoned. Whether they shared what they had. Whether they shared their oil.".
    • "Wedding Plans Go Awry!" Bob Cornwall, Ponderings on a Faith Journey, 2014.
      • "Is it possible that the door could close on us because we're not prepared for the coming of God's realm? Have we gotten too comfortable with the status quo?"
    • "Being Prepared: Not Just for Bridesmaids and Boy Scouts," Sharron R. Blezard, Stewardship of Life, 2014.
      • "Things don't always go as planned..."
    • Clever Girls and Stupid Girls, Russell Rathbun, Question the Text, 2014.
      • "...the implication is that the stupid, plain, disadvantaged girls didn't get in the banquet because they did not stay awake—in the same way we wont get into the kingdom of heaven if we are not prepared and attentive when the kingdom comes—but all the girls feel asleep. None of the girls stayed awake, the smart, pretty children of privilege just had all the advantages, material and otherwise to overcome the error."
    • Preaching Matthew 25:1-13, Carolyn L. Gordon, Lectionary Homiletics sample.
      • "In preaching this particular passage, one suggests that the preacher resists the temptation of preaching it as an expository sermon and preach it as a narrative instead."
    • The Gatekeepers of the Kingdom, Andrew Prior, First Impressions, 2014.
      • "Oil is a symbol in the tradition of Tanakh..."
    • "It's Not About the Oil!" Peter Lockhart, A Different Heresy, 2014.
      • "In the next Chapter of Matthew, Jesus shares the last supper with his disciples and then heads out to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He takes Peter and James and John and asks them to wait for him and stay awake with him as he prays. The disciples, who had not long before heard the story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids and the injunction to stay awake, go to sleep."
    • Pulpit Fiction, plus podcast. Reflections of lectionary text, pop culture, current events, etc. Robb Mc Coy and Eric Fistler, 2014.
    • "Carry Your Torch!" Thomas Beam, 2014.
    • "The Foolish Bridesmaids," Janet H. Hunt, Dancing with the Word, 2014.
      • "What experience do you have with being 'locked out' because of your own lack of attention or preparation? How was your experience like or unlike the story Jesus tells today?"
    • "Wise and Foolish," Nancy Rockwell, The Bite in the Apple, 2014.
      • "Yet that nagging dread of missing the boat remains. I pray that heaven, in its sudden openings in our lives, will have room for the foolish, whose too-human stories bring us all together, and always help me to feel at home and loved."
    • "Where's the Bridegroom?" Robert Stuhlmann, Stories from a Priestly Life, 2014.
    • "Final Judgment?" Alan Brehm, The Waking Dreamer.
      • "Although the church has been keeping people out since the beginning of our faith, Jesus doesn't keep people out. It seems to me that Jesus occupied himself by breaking down the barriers that keep people out."
    • Radical Gratitude, lectionary-based stewardship, Northwest United Methodist Foundation. (.pdf)
    • Evangelio Comentario del San Mateo 25:1-13 por Yolanda Rosas.
    • Commentary, Matthew 25:1-13, Carla Works, Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2011.
      • "Readers today may find themselves secretly sympathetic to the foolish maidens. Does the church really live as though the bridegroom's arrival is certain? "
    • Holy Textures, Understanding the Bible in its own time and in ours, Matthew 25:1-13, David Ewart, 2011.
      • "This is a story about honouring the bridegroom who has gone away to fetch his bride by being prepared for his return - at the time of his own choosing, whenever that might be."
    • Concise Exegesis, Richard Donovan, lectionary.org.
    • Parable of the Bridesmaids, audio telling, story in episodes, graphic, audio and written commentaries. Go Tell Communications, Biblical Storytelling for the Global Village, 2011.
    • "Bridesmaids, the Time is Now," Alyce M. McKenzie, Patheos, 2011.
      • "One of the themes dear to Matthew's heart is the theme of the anticipation of coming judgment. It is important for him to emphasize to his community two things with regard to Jesus' return. One is that they don't know when it will come, so speculation is futile. The second is that it will come, so preparation is crucial."
    • "Saving From..."Andrew Prior, First Impressions, 2011.
      • "There is much in life to be angry about!  But I can’t help feeling that some of the gloating anger towards those who we believe will be judged, is a psychological projection of our inner anger and disgust at ourselves, and our failings."
    • "The Parable of Five Catty, Hard-Hearted Virgins?" Lauren. F. Winner, The Hardest Question, 2011.
    • It's Oil Gonna Be OK, Peter Woods, The Listening Hermit, 2011.
      • "The worst mistake I could possibly make is to forget that the Kingdom of the Heavens, the Divine Domain, is right here right now. It is an immanent reality as much as a transcendent one."
    • "Speculation is futile - Preparation is crucial," Neil Chappell, a weird thing, 2011.
    • Comentario del Evangelio por Amaury Tañón-Santos, San Mateo 25:1-13, Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2011.
    • Commentary, Matthew 25:1-13, Dirk G. Lange, Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2008.
    • Comments (commentary) and Clippings (technical notes for in-depth study), Chris Haslam, Anglican Diocese of Montreal.
    • Exegetical Notes by Brian Stoffregen, at CrossMarks.
      • "I like Boring's interpretation of this word in the New Interpreters Bible: 'Matthew opposes the frantic quest for eschatological information, and he pictures faithful disciples as those who do their duty at appropriate times and are thus prepared for the parousia whenever it comes. Such disciples can lay down to sleep in confidence, rather than being kept awake by panicky last-minute anxiety. Thus the Matthean meaning for "gregoreo" is "be prepared," not "keep awake"/"watch," and it might be so translated in this context. [p. 451]."'"
      "First Thoughts on Year A Gospel Passages in the Lectionary," Pentecost 22, William Loader, Murdoch University, Uniting Church in Australia.
      • "Much that masqueraded in all sincerity as Christian faith then as now is what Paul would call just a clanging noise, even it had chalked up spiritual successes (see 1 Cor 13). In their different ways both Matthew and Paul put the emphasis on love as the fruit which matters."
    • "Wise and Foolish Maidens," Gospel Analysis, Sermons from Seattle, Pastor Edward F. Markquart, Grace Lutheran Church, Seattle, Washington. Detailed background and exegesis.
      • "We also have learned from the teachings that we human beings are never to judge who 'gets in and who is left out.' That is the role of Christ. Christ is to be the judge. Using the analogy from baseball, the umpire makes the calls and the players do not. The role of the Son of man is to be the judge. That is his role. This is his function. We human beings are the players and not the judges."
    • Dylan's Lectionary Blog, Proper 27. Biblical Scholar Sarah Dylan Breuer looks at readings for the coming Sunday in the lectionary of the Episcopal Church.
      • "If we're mistaken about who exactly it is that we're expecting in the parousia, we're that much more likely to be mistaken about what that person would have us to do to prepare."
    • "Faith and Example," Larry Broding's Word-Sunday.Com: A Catholic Resource for This Sunday's Gospel. Adult Study, Children's Story, Family Activity, Support Materials.
      • "Have you ever taken faith for granted? Has that complacent attitude led to trouble?"
    • Matthew in the Margins, by Brian McGowan, Anglican priest in Western Australia.
    • Sermon Preparation Thoughts and Questions by Wesley White, 2005.
      • "In times when I falter I need to be supported by you. In time you, too, falter need to be supported by me."
    • Wellspring of the Gospel, Ordinary 32A, Catherine McElhinney and Kathryn Turner, Weekly Wellsprings.
    • "The Bridegroom Comes!" Rev. Bryan Findlayson, Lectionary Bible Studies and Sermons, Pumpkin Cottage Ministry Resources. Includes detailed textual notes.
    • "The Parables in the Olivet Discourse," by Hampton Keathley IV at the Biblical Studies Foundation.
      • "The main point of the parable is that even if it might be a long time before the Lord returns, don?t wait until the last minute to get prepared, because you never know when that last minute will be and you may miss out. And I think preparation is faith."
  • Recommended articles from ATLAS, an online collection of religion and theology journals, are linked below. ATLAS Access options are available for academic institutions, alumni of selected theological schools, and clergy/church offices.Annotated list of "starting place" articles at ATLAS for this week's texts (includes direct links).
  • Reviews:
    • Wilson, Alistair I., When Will These Things Happen?: A Study of Jesus as Judge in Matthew 21-25. PaterNoster Press, 2005. Review by Samuel Subramanian, Review of Biblical Literature, 2006.
  • Sermons:
  • With Children:
  • Drama:
    • Left In The Dark -- Monologue / Drama for Proper 27 | OT 32 Jacqueline Sharer Robertson SermonStudio
    • "Ten Little Groupies!" Michelle Pitman, dramatix.
    • "With Lighted Lamps," from A Certain Jesus by Jose Ignacio and Maria Lopez Vigil. Ideal for catechetical and liturgical dramatization of today's gospel. Claretian Publications.
  • Graphics & Bulletin Materials:
  • Hymns and Music:
  • Fine Arts Images Linked at The Text This Week's Art Index:
  • Movies scenes with the following themes, listed at The Text This Week's Movie Concordance:
  • Study Links and Resources for the Book of Matthew