The parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Mat 25:1-13) is instruction for those who are wise, to prepare for His coming. I believe an explanation of the fall feasts of the Lord can be found within this parable, the fall feasts also prophesying of the second coming of the Lord.
The parable of the talents (Mat 25:14-30) is likewise instruction for those who are wise, to prepare for His coming. But it is also insight into what life will be like, I believe, during the Lord’s millennial reign. He Himself will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords from Jerusalem, but He will appoint His servants as governors over cities (see also Rev 20:4).
I believe He means to convey that those who have been faithful in stewarding finances in this life, before He comes, will be the ones given greater stewardship — that of cities. I know this parable is not usually taught as if it applies to finances, but consider this:
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Luk 16:10-13
Being faithful in unrighteous mammon — money — is like a test, is what this passage appears to be saying. The Lord tests us in handling money, to see if we will be faithful with true riches. (Notice that money is false riches.) The love of money is a powerful temptation, one that everyone shares. Everyone on the planet has to deal with finances, even the poor. We cannot love both God and money, so how we handle money is a test of our love for God. If we handle it His way — stewarding, tithing, helping the poor, widows, orphans, and strangers — then we love God. Incidentally, handling money God’s way causes it to increase back to us. It is a spiritual law.
If we don’t handle money His way, then our hearts have been revealed, right? We love money more than we love God.
Again the same theme: what we do in this life will determine how things will go for us then. Jesus is not teaching works in order to be saved. But in the three instances in this chapter, our choices, our works, determine 1) whether we are let in or kept out of the wedding feast; 2) whether we will receive true riches (authority?) in His millennial kingdom or whether we will be cast out into the outer darkness; and 3) whether we will be counted among the sheep or the goats at the Judgment. Works do not save us, but they are present like evidence in every life which has been saved by faith.
If we have blown it, take heart! The Lord has not come back yet! We can repent, letting the word of God instruct us, and we can reorder our oil, our lamps, our talents, and our ministry to the outcasts of this world, beginning today!
And let’s not miss the greater message of this chapter:
The Lord Jesus Christ LOVES the outcast, the poor, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner! He is not separating sheep from goats based on who built Him the most extravagant buildings or who has the most people going to their church!