Open your bibles with me (or read below) Matthew Chapter 25:1-13 where Jesus tells the parable of the ten bridesmaids.
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.” “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (This is in red script in the bible as it is Jesus speaking.)
Lessons we learn from today’s scripture:
- Jesus told the parable to clarify what it means to be ready for his return and how to live until he comes.
- Every person is responsible for his or her own spiritual condition. When we stand before God on judgement day, we will stand alone and be accountable for our actions. So many people want to blame others for why they are not right with God, or not in church, but at the end of the day it will be about the effort you alone put into it.
- This parable is about a wedding. Back in this day and time on the wedding day the bridegroom went to the bride’s house for the ceremony; then the bride and groom, along with a large procession, returned to the groom’s house, where a feast took place, often lasting a full week! These 10 virgins were waiting to join the wedding procession and had hoped to take part in the marriage feast. But when the groom didn’t come at the expected time, five of them were out of lamp oil. By the time they had purchased extra oil, it was too late to join the feast. The groom arrived while they were gone from the bride’s house. When Jesus returns to take his bride to heaven, we must be ready. Spiritual preparation cannot be bought or borrowed at the last minute. Our relationship with God must be our own.
- Don’t you think if we knew when Jesus was coming back so many people would take advantage of that and sin until the day before His return, and then repent not understanding it’s the sin that kills, hurts, and ruins lives. Jesus wants us to repent from that now and start living a life full of joy, hope and promise.
- I was around 11 or 12 years old. We lived out in the country, in the middle of nowhere. It was dark outside, and I was standing with my brother and parents, speaking to the neighbors who had walked down the road to visit us. Suddenly, it looked like a big, burning cross was hanging in the sky. For a moment I was scared – and my mind raced – am I ready?!? It ended up being a fire a few miles away and it was a cloudy night. The cloud cover made the light from the fire look like a cross in the sky. I’ve never forgotten that “Oh no, if this is it, am I ready?!?” feeling. I pray often, if not almost daily, for those I love so dearly who are not right with the Lord (Yet). I can’t imagine how it would feel for those who knew but didn’t take the time to prepare to meet Jesus and the eastern sky splits wide open for His return. But the fact of the matter is, even if Jesus doesn’t return for another 100 years (because a thousand years is like a day to God) people die unexpectedly every day unprepared and it breaks my heart because their chance to know Him is gone. That’s what drives me to be a witness; The understanding that every person has a soul with an eternal destination, and we should help as many as we can make it to the wedding when Christ comes for His bride.
- We can offer others help and resources in their spiritual journey, but we can’t transfer character. Character comes from devotion to the Word of God which transforms your life.
- Are you prepared? We need to look ahead, past the moment, like the wise virgins. The devil will try to get us so distracted that we’re not ready to meet Jesus. Satan will try to keep us so busy that we don’t build a spiritual reserve. We need to be full of the Word, full of the Holy Spirit, prayed up and filled up so we can face the storms that come. It’s harder to try and find a firm foundation once you get the news or the diagnosis. The devil wants us to “run out of oil” and leave the house so we are not prepared when Jesus returns.
- In verse 7 it reads; “Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.” – they were there to give light – and that’s why we are here! We are here to be a light to others. We must be careful to watch our oil level and guard our relationship with Jesus, so we don’t get burnt out. If we are not careful, we can give and give and give of ourselves doing all the “right” things yet getting distracted. We must make connecting with Jesus first place and priority, or we will find ourselves running out of oil and our lights dimming.
Happy Wednesday! May you be blessed in the week ahead and keep your lights shining bright!