232. Kingdom parable-12
Updated: Jul 23
PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS.
"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 ... The wise, however, took oil in jars ... The bridegroom was a longtime 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 is some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 'No,' they replied,' there may not be enough for both us and you ... 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." - (Matthew 25:1-10)
This is the last of the kingdom parables (those that begin with the words: 'The kingdom of God / heaven is like ... ) and it speaks about a time towards the end of the Church age, before the believers are raptured. We cannot deny the truth that all Christians are not going to be raptured, just as all "virgins" did not enter with the bridegroom, before the door was shut. ( Who are being addressed as 'virgins' in Scripture ? Everyone who has not prostituted (Judges 2:17,8:27,33, 1 Chronicles 5:25, Psalm 106:39) themselves before other gods but have been pledged in marriage to one husband i.e., Christ are addressed in Scriptures as "virgins". 'I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.' - (2 Corinthians 11:2) Then why didn't all ten virgins enter with the bridegroom? Obviously, it was not a question about their "virginity" (meaning fidelity or loyalty to Christ) but it was their lack of preparedness for the marriage that caused them to be excluded. (According to the Jewish custom, once the betrothal (A ceremony that falls between our our modern commitments of engagement and marriage. It was more binding than an engagement and it took an act of divorce to break a betrothal) is made, the bride must wait in anticipation for the groom to return to take her to his new home or room made exclusively for her.) The wait had been so long that all ten virgins became drowsy and fell asleep. But when the cry rang out that the bridegroom is coming, 'all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps' but the foolish ones couldn't keep their lamps burning because there was no "oil" in their lamps, which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The 'fire' within the foolish virgins who didn't have the Spirit, were put out but the wise virgins who had the Holy Spirit in them, managed to keep the 'fire' burning! 'Do not put out the Spirit's fire' - (1 Thessalonians 5:19) meaning 'never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.' - (Romans 12:11) The ones who were not serious about their relationship with Christ, found themselves left behind and they said to him, 'Sir! Sir! Open the door for us!' But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you' - (Matthew 25: 11-12) because 'if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.' -(Romans 8:9) Scripture is very blunt (uncompromisingly forthright) in addressing this matter! Without the Holy Spirit, no one will be able to get ready for the wedding supper of the Lamb. Let's go get the 'oil' before it's too late! "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." - (Matthew 25:13) Amen.
PS: Out of the 12 kingdom parables, the first three are about the growth of the kingdom; the next three are about the entry into the kingdom; the three parables after that are about the value of the kingdom and the last three parables ie., the parable of the unmerciful servant, the parable of the workers in the vineyard and the parable of the ten virgins are about the virtues of the kingdom namely forgiveness, faithfulness and watchfulness.