If Matthew 24 is possibly negative because of the warnings and terrible events described, Matthew 25 is positive because of the wonderful pictures that it contains for the Church.
Alphabetically, this chapter is a Gimel chapter. The Hebrew letter Gimel stands for loving kindness and culmination. Please see The Hebrew Alphabet. This chapter also is the fifth of the Torah design series. Please see Torah Designs in the Bible . The fifth book is Deuteronomy which is a book of summary and is about entering the kingdom (the Promised Land).
This chapter continues the “Olivet Discourse” of Jesus begun in Matthew 24 and gives us some pictures of the coming Kingdom. The first is the Parable of the Ten Virgins. This is about a wedding feast. Luke 12:35-38 and Matthew 22:1-14 are also about wedding feasts. They are pictures of Jesus, who is the bridegroom, and the Church, the Bride of Christ. (Revelation 19:7-9) Perhaps the absence of the bride in Matthew 25 is because she is the Gentile Church and this book was written to Jews, as evidenced by the genealogy of Jesus in chapter one.
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 25 is about being watchful, as is the story in Luke 12. The wedding banquet in Matthew 22 tells us that all are invited to participate in the Kingdom. And it warns us to have on our “wedding clothes”, or fine linen as described in the Revelation 19:8. The robes are given to us; we do not buy or earn them. If we do not have our robes, we will be cast into “outer darkness.”
Matthew 25 is about reward. The Parable of the Talents tells us that if we use our gifts faithfully (whether money or abilities) we will be rewarded accordingly. This parable begins with a man going on a journey. A parallel to this story is found in Luke 19:12-27. In the Luke version a man of noble birth is going to a far country to be appointed king. This is a picture of Jesus returning to Heaven where He will be appointed King of kings and Lord of lords. When He returns, He rewards his servants. In Luke 12 the servants are rewarded with administration over cities. Perhaps this refers to the coming Kingdom of Jesus.
This chapter concludes with a clear picture of judgement in verses 31 through 35. The language mirrors that of the Revelation 20:11-15. The separation of the sheep and the goats to the right and the left is about judgement. (Is this the basis for the Religious Right?) We Christians are the sheep and are rewarded with an inheritance. The goats on the left are told to “depart from me.” Matthew 25 is a chapter of hope for Believers who are prepared, working and waiting on their inheritance and reward.
“Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9)
“‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)