“Behold the goodness and severity of God.” (Rom.11:22)
The parabolic teaching of Jesus contains warnings of great severity. Let’s have a quick overview.
Wheat and Tares. “The tares are the sons of the evil one. . . gather the tares and bind them in bundles and burn them . . . in a furnace of fire.” Matt.13:30,42.
The Marriage Feast. The man without a wedding garment. “Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matt.22:13.
The Pounds. “These enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” Luke 19:27.
The Talents. “Cast out the worthless servant into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matt.25:30
The Ten Virgins. The five foolish virgins banged on the door. “I do not know you.”
The Vineyard. “He will come and destroy these vine-dressers and give the vineyard to others.” Luke 20:16
The Sheep and Goats. “To the goats He said, ‘Depart from me, you accursed ones into eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.'” Matt.25:41
The Servant who beats his fellow-servants. “Cut him asunder and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matt:24:51.
Dives and Lazarus. “In Hades, in torment . . in agony of flames . . a great gulf fixed.” Luke 16:23-26.
How then shall we read these severe sentences, when placed alongside the Master’s commands, to – “Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful,” (Luke 6:36), and “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven . . . be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ? (Matt.5:44,48)
More next time.