For our Morning Searches this morning, we read Matthew 25:1-13. I wanted to share with you what unfolded as we see Jesus telling a parable of the wise and foolish virgins.
“1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a]go out to meet him!’ 7Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give ussome of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 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.’ 10And 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.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour[b] in which the Son of Man is coming.” ~ Matthew 25:1-13 (NKJV)
There was several things that jumped out at us in this parable. First was the timing. At midnight. The darkest hour of the night is midnight. This is when we are to be ready, not only at midnight but also at the darkest hour.
Let’s go on a bunny trail… did you realize that we currently live in the same time (condition) as it was before Sodom and Gomorrah? Tori and I listened to a teaching on CD, and there is a parallel between America today and Sodom & Gomorrah. Are we at the darkest hour? I cannot answer that, but the evidence is stacking up to the description in the Bible. (I will post one day once I pull Scriptures and study them for myself).
Back on track, in this parable another thing jumped out at us was only half (50%) were wise and taken into the wedding banquet, while the other half were foolish. The wise ones went in, but the foolish went to get more oil. (2 Thes 2:3 and Matt 24:10)
My daughter pointed out that we shouldn’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, because it could be too late! Is there something that God is asking you to do, but haven’t yet?
Another thing we noticed was the oil. The oil is needed to keep the lamp burning. We are told in Luke 12:35 to “be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.” So, God tells us to keep the lamp burning but ultimately it is up to us to keep it burning. It is not something that will be done for us. If it was left up to God then no spiritual lamp would run dry.
Now the oil that is need for the lamps, at that time, was very expensive to purchase. It wasn’t freely given, not even to the wise ones. I believe what is being said here is that there is a price that has to be paid to keep our lamps burning as God wants them to be. The wise ones was prepared ahead of time to endure. What price are you willing to pay?
Anther thing that we picked up on, and I believe to be the MOST important was when the 5 foolish virgins returned saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’” Jesus didn’t say “I never knew you” as we see Him tells the evildoers in Matt 7:23, but said “I do not know you.” Implying that at one time Jesus had a relationship with them.
Jesus KNEW the ten foolish virgins, but by their own neglect the relationship ended and He did not know them.
The parable ends with a warning to keep watch for yourself… not for your Pastor or anyone else to watch out for you; but for you to watch for yourself and not let your lamp run out of oil.
We clearing see that at one time the foolish virgins had oil in the lamp, their flame was burning, watching for the bridegroom, but had neglected to keep the oil in the lamp for the flame to burn… Have you let your flame burn out?Does Jesus still know you?
(A side note… my daughter REALLY loves when things like this unfold before her very eyes. I encourage you to read the parable with your children and just see God working in them).
I would suggest to be prepared to tell them HOW to keep the oil burning in their lamps, so HOPE will remain in their hearts.