Summary of passage: In the parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus tells the story of 10 young virgin women who grabbed lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five were prepared by bringing extra oil and five weren’t. The five who didn’t bring extra oil went back to town to buy more and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. They went into the wedding banquet with him. The late-comers, the 5 who went back to town, were not allowed in because the door had already been barred shut.
3a) They were all virgins. They all had lamps they took out to meet the bridegroom. They all waited for the bridegroom and all fell asleep doing so. All woke up at the same time and trimmed their lamps.
b) The wise virgins are believers who have accepted Jesus into their hearts. The foolish ones are generally all non-believers but specifically those who have heard of Jesus but haven’t committed to him.
4a) Matthew 7:13-14: We must walk down the narrow, small road and enter the gate that leads to life that only a few find.
Matthew 7:24-27: We must put into practice Jesus’ words because then we will be like a house with a firm foundation that no storm can topple.
Matthew 24:4-5, 42, 44: Watch out for Christ for no one knows when he will come. Watch out for those pretending to be Christ.
John 1:12: Believe in Christ and you will become a child of God, born of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8: Be alert and self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet so we can receive salvation through Jesus and live together with him. Encourage one another and build each other up.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24: Christ will allow us to be blameless at his coming and will give us peace and sanctification.
[I liked 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 better: Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, test everything, hold on to the good, avoid evil, heed prophecy, have a fire within your Spirit. Great stuff!]
b) John 3:5-8: You must have the Holy Spirit (accept Jesus) within to enter the kingdom of God. When you accept Jesus, you are born again with the Spirit.
Romans 8:9: If you have the Spirit, you belong to Christ and are controlled by the Spirit and not controlled by a sinful nature.
Ephesians 1:13-14: Once you accept Jesus, you are marked with a seal of the Holy Spirit which guarantees our inheritance in God’s kingdom as His possession until we are redeemed at the Second Coming.
5) Personal Question. My answer: These passages tell us that Jesus knows us and he calls us. We are alive by the Holy Spirit and His children. I am assured that with Jesus I will be at the wedding banquet on time!
Conclusions: Very straight-forward parable about being prepared for Jesus. Accept him now or you may not be at the wedding banquet. Lots of verses today (and tomorrow) to look up so allow extra time to answer these.
Map of Mount of Olives: http://bibleatlas.org/full/mount_of_olives.htm As you can see, it’s in between Bethany where Jesus is staying and Jerusalem where Jesus is headed each day.
End Notes: This chapter is a continuation of the Olivet Discourse. Jesus is still speaking to his disciples on the Mount of Olives. He is continuing the theme from Matthew 24 to be ready for his return. He uses an example that every Jew would have understood 2000 years ago (which we don’t necessarily get).
It was Jewish tradition that after the betrothal, the marriage would take place and the groom would come for his bride at an unexpected time. The brides’ maids who were usually about 10 in number would go out and meet him with lamps and bring him to his bride.
Breaking tradition, Jesus’ analogy has him as the bridegroom. In the Old Testament, God had always been described as the bridegroom (Isaiah 54:4-5; 62:5; Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 1-3, and many more).
Even though the brides’ maids slept, they were prepared. And when the call went out in the middle of the night (an unexpected time), they answered.
If oil does indeed represent the Holy Spirit, then the truth is that without the Holy Spirit, you are not ready for Jesus.
We should be constantly re-filling ourselves with the Holy Spirit else we enter a period of lackadaisical living–unmotivated, purposeless, passionless, laziness, and unproductive overall. This is my prayer today: to fill me up more so I may overcome this period in my life.
The penalty is too severe if we are not prepared–eternal life without Jesus in Hell. Are you willing to pay it?