I've been puzzled by the story of the ten virgins for many years. I could not see for anything how the behavior of the wise virgins was anything to be praised. They failed to share, right? But today I got to thinking, Jesus was not so much focusing on the wise virgins' virtues as he was the foolish virgins' lack of preparation. Jesus was making a point, and trying to figure out the wise virgins in this story is missing that point. If anyone out there sees it differently, feel free to enlighten me in my comment box.
I have to admit, while I admire the go getting attitude of the servant with ten talents and the servant with five, I always felt sorry for the servant with one. He was afraid. Although it is possible I miss the point again. For a man that is afraid, he seems to be okay with insulting his boss. "Reap where you do not sow"? Maybe the point isn't that he was afraid, but that he was presumptuous. Perhaps "I was afraid of losing your money. I didn't know what to do with it, so I tried to keep it safe" would have received a different response.
The story of the sheep and the goats is always disconcerting. I can think of times I tried to feed, clothe, or otherwise help someone. I can also think of times I went about my own business, too selfish to even notice the needs of others. How would I react to Lazarus at my gate? I don't know. Most likely I'd give him the change in my pocket and hope he moves on. I know that sounds harsh. Maybe on a good day I'd offer him a moist towelette and a sandwich. That still doesn't sound like how I'd want to be treating Jesus, does it?
(Enjoy Shaun the sheep. I know I did!)