Forerunner calling: the parable of the 10 virgins
1 “THEN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN SHALL BE LIKENED TO TEN VIRGINS WHOTOOK THEIR LAMPS AND WENT OUT TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM. 2 NOW FIVE OFTHEM 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;GO OUT TO MEET HIM!’ 7 THEN ALL THOSE VIRGINS AROSE AND TRIMMED THEIR LAMPS. 8 AND THE FOOLISH SAID TO THE WISE, ‘GIVE US SOME OF YOUR OIL, FOR OUR LAMPS ARE GOING OUT.’ 9 BUT THE WISE ANSWERED, SAYING, ‘NO, LESTTHERE SHOULD NOT BE ENOUGH FOR US AND YOU; BUT GO RATHER TO THOSEWHO SELL, AND BUY FOR YOURSELVES.’ 10 AND WHILE THEY WENT TO BUY, THEBRIDEGROOM CAME, AND THOSE WHO WERE READY WENT IN WITH HIM TO THEWEDDING; AND THE DOOR WAS SHUT.11 “AFTERWARD THE OTHER VIRGINS CAME ALSO, SAYING, ‘LORD, LORD, OPEN TOUS!’ 12 BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, ‘ASSUREDLY, I SAY TO YOU, I DO NOT KNOWYOU.’ 13 “WATCH THEREFORE, FOR YOU KNOW NEITHER THE DAY NOR THE HOUR IN WHICH THE SON OF MAN IS COMING. (MATTHEW CHAPTER 25)I.BACKGROUND: A SPECIFIC OPPORTUNITY TO GET READY (VERSES 1-5)
A.This parable is Jesus’ teaching about spiritual preparation in the world, when there comes anawakened sense of powerful Divine activity and unfolding purpose. Before His crucifixion,Jesus was speaking extensively about His kingdom, giving the disciples understanding in order to ready us through them for the pressures and difficulties that are part of the life of faith, (Acts14:22)… particularly at the end of the age.Jesus had aimed to give them understanding of the “mystery of the kingdom”, (Mark. 4:11),which was this: the kingdom of God had come before its final, triumphant manifestation.Fulfillment was here, but its consummation was not. The kingdom would arrive in two stages.In the first stage the Messiah would come and suffer, and in the second stage the Messiah wouldcome in glory, (Luke 24:46; Mark 14:62).The expectation for the Messiah during Jesus’ life was a political leader who would overthrowRoman rule and lead Israel into global prominence. This anticipation was so prevalent that evenJohn the baptizer wondered if he misunderstood who Jesus was, (Matthew 11:1-6).Paradoxically, the Body of Christ is now disoriented in the inverse way: we celebrate His deathand resurrection (as we should) yet we have little to no anticipation (or understanding) of Hisreturn to rule the nations. Jesus is so uniquely able to sit enthroned as both God and man inLordship over everything He created – with man’s given dominion over the earth not usurped(Gen. 1:26, Psalm 115:16) even as God’s place of Creator and Judge is honored and He receivesglory for His flawless wisdom and beauty, (Psa. 72, Isa. 11:9, Hab. 2:14).
LHOP – Newport News, VA