Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wed: The Olivet Discourse

Continuing on the tribute to Holy Week. I thought this morning I would write a little bit about an event that took place sometime during the middle of the Saviors last week on earth.

After teaching in the temple and confounding the chief priests as they attempted to find fault with him, he departed for the Mount of Olives. As an interesting side note it was at this same time during the passover that tradition called for each lamb that was brought to the temple as a sacrifice be checked thoroughly for any blemishes. Inadvertently the chief priests were performing this same ritual on the true lamb, the lamb that all previous sacrifices were pointing too.

Upon arriving at the Mount of Olives Jesus spoke to many subjects including the destruction of Jerusalem,the temple, and ultimately the destruction and renewal of the world at His Second Coming. (Matt 24) Up until this point many believed the Savior yet would liberate them and become their political ruler at that time. No doubt some of those that stood at the road side as he entered the city on Sunday thought their deliverance from political bondage was emanate. In this discourse it becomes clear that the Savior had no intention of delivering them from that type of bondage at least not until he returned again to the earth at a future date.

After teaching these things the Savior turned to teaching a few parables including the parable of the ten virgins, and the parable of the talents. (Matt 25) Each of these parables taken in the context of the news that he would not be delivering them political bondage at this time, was meant to prepare his people for his eventual return. I think they were also intended to help the people look to a spiritual bondage much greater than any political chains that he was about to lose in the coming days.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

This is one of my favorite parables, maybe because it serves as a reminder of my responsibilty to do those little things that file my lamp. Unlike the parable below in this parable it appears to be teaching us to make sure we do the things we need to do become spiritually and temporally self-reliant. In fact, when those who did not prepare ask for assitance none is given in this parable whereas in the following parable we are asked to give to others. I wonder if the difference is certain drops of oil can only be obtain through our own individual efforts. Even the most generous individual cannot lift someone at the last moment from a state of tremendous deficiet to equal footing with themselves.

I could be off on my thoughts on this but this parable does serve as motivation for me to keep doing those simple things in life like, prayer, scripture study, and service to others. Each small acts adds more drops, creates greater capacity and empathy.

The Parable of the Talents

What talents have you been given? What are you doing with those talents? I think the expectations is we are trying to help each other with the talents we have been given. Becoming self-reliant and giving to help those in need is a major theme of the Savior's Gospel. It is interesting that this instruction is given as a tool to prepare us for His eventual return to earth. While he is away we are to use the talents we have been given to take care of our own and to lift those in need around us.

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