Talk 11: Foolish vs. Wise

WE’RE nearing the finish line of Matthew.

Today, we preach the simple message, While you’re waiting, God is working.

We call this season Advent which is Latin for coming.

I believe Jesus comes in three ways.

First, Jesus comes Every Time

He comes to us at every single moment of our life.

Every moment is pregnant with His Presence.

That was the last He said in the Gospel of Matthew:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age (28:20 NLT).

He didn’t say, “I’ll sometimes be with you” or “Occasionally, I’ll be with you,” or “When you’re a good boy or good girl and behave according to my expectations, I’ll be with you.”

He simply said, “I am with you always.” 24/7. No breaks. No vacations. No exceptions.

Say it, “Jesus is with me always.”

In your good times, in your bad times, in your ordinary times.

He meets you in your daily circumstances, in your joys and in your sorrows, in your mountain peaks and in your lowest valleys.

He also meets you especially in the faces of the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the dying, the imprisoned.

He also meets you in prayer.

So, when we pray, we “enter into His Presence” as if we were outside it prior to praying. When we pray, we simply become aware of His Presence that has already been with us all along.

I repeat: Jesus meets us every time.

Second, He’ll also come to us at the End-Times We believe in the Second Coming of Jesus. Christ is coming back.

8don’t know when. I don’t know how. But He will.

On that last day, good will win over evil. And all creation will be restored in every dimension—social, cultural, personal, and cosmic.

God is creating a new Heaven and a new Earth. And every human that has ever lived on this planet will stand before King Jesus to receive His mercy if they choose to receive it.

But Jesus comes not only at the end-times—Third, Jesus will also come at the End of Our Time Yes, mamamatay ka rin.

But if you’re a Jesus Follower, that statement doesn’t have to scare you. Because where you follow Jesus doesn’t matter. Earth or Heaven, as long as you’re following Jesus.

Friend, your best years are before you, not behind you.

The best is yet to come.

After this little introduction, let’s dive into our reading for today…

Five Wise and Five Foolish

In Matthew Chapters 24 and 25, Jesus gave three parables about being ready for His return.

We’re going to read the last one:

Ancient Jewish Weddings Were Different

Many have a hard time understanding this story.

Because we do our weddings differently from the ancient weddings done in that part of the world.

Ancient Jews knew how to celebrate. The wedding party lasted for an entire week of eating and singing and dancing. No wonder, one wedding celebration ran out of wine and Jesus had to do His first miracle in Cana.

Unlike us, they didn’t use churches or hotels. The wedding ceremony took place in the bride’s house; the reception was done in the groom’s house. So, after the wedding, there was a big procession from the bride’s house to the groom’s house where they have their weeklong party.

And these 10 bridesmaids were female guests who were given the task to welcome the groom into the wedding banquet. In the story, the women carried torches with olive-oil drenched cloths mounted on sticks.

Out of the 10 women, 5 were wise enough to carry extra flasks of oil.

And then the groom got delayed.

Now that we can picture the parable, here are its three lessons…

God doesn’t follow our schedule. He doesn’t follow our timing. God can be late according to our expectations.

If you look at the Bible, waiting is crucial. It expresses your trust in God.

And impatience leads to all sorts of disasters. King Saul could not wait for the Prophet Samuel to come, so, he took matters into his own hands and offered the sacrifice that only

Samuel could do—thereby losing his crown and his anointing. He lost God’s favor because he didn’t know how to wait.

A few centuries before that, the Israelites could not wait for Moses to get down from Mt. Sinai. So, they manufactured a golden calf to be their god. And many were punished that day.

Faith is important. But if there’s something more important than faith, it’s faithfulness.

James says the Devil believes in God. What he doesn’t have is faithfulness.

And that’s what you need in your life today.

Friend, have you ever experienced seasons of long waiting?

Perhaps you’ve been waiting for your son’s conversion, but so far, nothing has happened.

You’ve been praying for freedom from debt for two years now and it seems such a slow process.

You’ve been praying for healing but the healing hasn’t happened yet.

Right now, you’re waiting. You’re waiting for your storm to end, the depression to lift, the problem to be solved, the need to be filled…

Friend, be faithful to God when He isn’t seem faithful.

If you notice, all ten bridesmaids fell asleep. Both the wise and the foolish.

It’s normal to get tired. It’s normal to feel discouraged. It’s normal to doubt God.

But hold on. Don’t give up.

Because at the perfect time, God will come.

When I was a kid, my mother taught me, “Sharing is good.”

When I was studying in school, remember the teacher would say, “We’ll have a Quiz. Get a 1/4 sheet of paper!”

Many of my classmates had none and would ask from me. But I always carried lots of paper. So, those were the days I’d bring an entire pad paper in the morning, only to go home without one in the afternoon.

Yes, my Mom regretted teaching me that sharing was good.

That’s why when I was a young boy reading this parable, it disturbed me.

I didn’t like it. Because the five wise ones didn’t share their oil to the foolish ones. I thought to myself, “How selfish can they get?”

In my mind, they were not really wise. But later on, I realized I got the message wrong. Because we can share paper. And food. And money. And clothes. But there are some things in life that we cannot share with one another.

If I borrow your toothbrush, will you lend it to me? I doubt it.

Even if I say, “I’ll just use it once and I’ll return it to you. Promise.” Because some things are too personal.

Neither can you share what the oil symbolized in this parable.

Oil has always been the symbol of the Holy

Spirit. Therefore, oil in this parable is the personal work of the Holy Spirit in your heart.

And you cannot share that.

Imagine if your doctor tells you, “You need a heart bypass operation.” That was when you had a light bulb moment.

You called up your friend, “Pare, may malaki kang utang sa akin, di ba? Wala ka ng utang sa akin kung gagawin mo lang ito. Quits tayo.”

Your friend asks, “Talaga? Ano yun?”

You say, “Ikaw ang magpaopera sa puso para sa akin.” Everyone has to go through the surgery of the Spirit.

You’ve got to lay down on the operating table and let the Divine Healer cut away toxins in your soul and repair anything that needs to be repaired.

God Has No Grandchildren

A child cannot say, “I’m going to Heaven because my mother is so saintly.”

Sorry, that won’t work.

God has no grandchildren.

God only has children.

Your mother can share her example, her stories, her wisdom—but only you can say YES to the Holy Spirit.

I’ve met husbands who think they’re going to Heaven because their wife is holy. Oh, they’re in for a rude awakening. From what I know, there are no combo packages for salvation.

Let me read that last line of the parable, which is a repeat of what Jesus said in the last chapter: For you do not know the day or hour of my return. (v.13)

Out of these three ways Jesus comes—Every Time, End-Times, and End of Our Time—we know only the timing of the first one. We don’t know when the End-Times or the End of Our Time will happen.

So, we don’t know how long we’ll wait.

So, here’s the third lesson: Ask God to supply you with extra oil for your long journey.

Ask Him for extra patience.

Extra perseverance.

Extra faithfulness.

Extra obedience.


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