“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 25:1-13
Matthew records this parable taught by Jesus. Let’s look at the parable highlights, and gather from it what we are supposed to learn if anything. My notes are from a biblical commentary.
- The virgins had no prior knowledge of a delay. They assembled near the groom’s home, to which the wedding party would venture after the groom collected the bride.
- We see in verse 3 that the foolish virgins did not bring any extra oil for their lamps. They came unprepared.
- The bridegroom is Jesus, and the delay is the time between the ascension and His coming.
- The wise and foolish virgins are true and false disciples.
- The exclusion of the foolish virgins from the wedding feast represents the judgment of unbelievers on earth during the day of the Lord, while believers participate in the “marriage supper of the lamb.”
- They all fell asleep. That is to be expected when waiting for a long time.
- The phrase, “virgins who were ready,” reveals the main point of the parable, namely that readiness is preparedness before Jesus returns. In other words, one cannot leave “getting ready” to the last minute.
- If one tries to get ready while Jesus is coming, it is too late.
- Jesus instructed them to keep watch. We do not know the day or hour of Jesus’ return.
- The coming of the Lord in the rapture and the start of the day of the Lord will be completely unexpected, and unless one is prepared before that time, he will face the hardship of the tribulation.”
Jesus warned his followers that the day and hour are unknown; therefore, they must always be ready. The five virgins who planned poorly missed out. The wise virgins took extra oil and were ready for the unexpected delay.
We read in the parable the wise virgins did not share their oil with the foolish virgins. Each of them is responsible for themselves.
I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for the warning to pay attention and be prepared. Unfortunately, many people are not ready and will not be ready when the Lord returns.
2020 more than any year prior in my life, has definitely been a year that has begged us to get ready. Many people have used this year to reevaluate where they stand with the Lord and have adjusted accordingly.
Are you like the wise virgins who brought extra oil for their lamps, or are you like the foolish virgins who came unprepared?
I believe we should be paying close attention. The Lord could rapture his church at any time. Are you ready? I sure hope so.
Remember Lot’s Wife: Don’t Look Back
Bridge to Grace – a nonfiction novel