May 26 - Ten Virgins

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Matthew 25:1-13

“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.

Ten young bridesmaids went out to meet the bridegroom. There would be great rejoicing when he arrived for the wedding feast. The bride was prepared and waiting at her home; the bridegroom would arrive and be escorted to the feast and the celebration would begin.

Jesus used the metaphor of the bride and groom to describe his relationship to the Israelites and later to the Church, much as God did in the Old Testament, when he called Israel his bride.  In Isaiah 54:5 we read, “For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

When we arrive at Revelation 19, we find that the final fulfillment of history occurs at a great banquet, when Jesus Christ arrives as the bridegroom.  The Church is His bride and it is made up of everyone who has come to know him throughout history, but what of those who aren't prepared?

They will be like the ten foolish young women who didn't plan to wait; who simply assumed that everyone else would take care of them and when that didn't happen; they scurried to deal with it and were locked out of the wedding banquet.

The time is coming; we don’t know when Jesus will return, but be prepared.