Notes: December 17, 2009

The Wise and Foolish Virgins

The lesson of this parable is plain: Be prepared for the coming of Jesus (Matthew 25:13)

Matthew 25:1-13

  • Unlike our modern, finely scheduled weddings, ancient marriages involved an indefinite period of time between the engagement (which was considered binding) and the actual wedding feast. So when the text says that the virgins were waiting, it is true to custom.
  • All ten of the virgins waited, all ten had lamps with a bit of oil, all ten fell asleep waiting.
  • But only 5 had sufficient oil in their lamps to last the waiting period. The other five, foolishly, had not prepared for the long wait.
  • When the 5 foolish virgins asked the others to share oil, the answer was a resounding “No!”. They were advised to go buy more oil for themselves (at midnight). They went to buy.
  • But in the meantime the bridegroom arrived, entered, and closed the door. He refused to grant entrance to the 5 foolish virgins who had gone off to buy oil. (Maybe they should have stood beside somebody with light.)

The lessons:

  1. We don’t know the day or hour when Jesus is coming back.
  2. We should be prepared for a long wait, just in case.
  3. We should be watching for him to arrive.