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The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:1-13
Every Christian, no matter when or where they live, should live in expectation of Jesus’
return. Either Jesus will come to meet us or we will go to meet Him when we die.
Whether we see Jesus face-to-face today, tomorrow, or 80 years from now, it is something
we should look forward to with eagerness.
Revelation 22:12
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person
according to what they have done.”
Jesus made it abundantly clear to His disciples that He would see them again. He says the
same thing to you. Are you ready to meet Him?
In Matthew 24, Jesus tells His disciples what to look for before He returns. But Jesus also
says that no one knows the day or the hour, and that His coming will be like a thief in the
night. In other words, it will come when no one expects.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells His disciples three parables to emphasize the need to be ready
when He returns. The parables are of the ten virgins, the talents, and the sheep and the
goats. Each one teaches us something different.
Matthew 25:1-13
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and
went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The
foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones,
however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in
coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the
wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there
may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some
for yourselves.’
10 “But 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. 11
“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he
replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Jesus explains the main point of this parable plainly: We must be ready for His return at
any time. He also makes a distinction between two types of people and helps us to

understand what we should do to be ready. Let’s look closely at these verses to see what
we can learn today.
In Jewish weddings at that time, the bridegroom would come with his friends to the
wedding celebration in the evening. The friends of the bride would be ready to meet the
groom with lamps to show him the way.
The Bible often speaks of Jesus’ return as a wedding celebration between the groom,
Jesus, and the bride, which is His church. When He comes, it will be a wonderful
celebration. It is something we should look forward to and prepare for, even as a bride
looks forward to and prepares for her own wedding.
v. 2-6
 The foolish virgins took no extra oil with them, so that when their lamps ran out
of oil, they were found unready when the groom came.
 The wise virgins took extra oil in jars so that they were ready when the
bridegroom came after a long while.
Why did the foolish virgins not bring extra oil, and why did the wise virgins do so?
Because the foolish virgins were not looking ahead. Instead, they were happy to have a
lamp and be in the company of their friends. They were not concentrating on the return of
the groom. They wise virgins, however, though ahead to what was going to happen. They
saw beyond the present and imagined the time when the bridegroom would return.
Because they had that thought foremost in their minds, it was easy for them to take the
necessary action and prepare themselves.
What is our Lord Jesus telling us here? If we only think about this present world, we will
be unready when He returns. But if we think ahead to His return, then we will easily
make sure to do the things we must now so that we are ready for Him.
When that day comes, how will you be found? Are you doing the things you ought to
now so that you will be ready to meet Him?
Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
Why is the heart of the wise in the house of mourning? Because death is the destiny of
every man, and the wise should take this to heart.

Are you doing what you can now, while it is still time to be doing it?
v. 7-9
This is a hard message, but Jesus says that we are each responsible for and able to save
our own souls. There was only one person whose merit was able to save another person,
and that was Jesus. We cannot save others by what we do. Each person can accept God’s
free gift of salvation only for himself or herself.
What can we do now for others? We should watch ourselves foremost, but we can also
urge others to “Come, buy and eat!”
Isaiah 55:1-2
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Jesus paid the price for you and me. Now is the time to accept His free gift!
“Give me some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” What sad words! When Jesus
returns, it will be clear whether we’ve spent our lives in a wise or foolish manner. Don’t
look back on your life with regret. Do the things you ought to now so that you will be
ready for that day.
Who are you envious of, or whose life do you wish you could live? Do you want to live
like a celebrity, or live the lifestyle described in magazines like Vanity Fair? You know
why that magazine is named that, right? Who has read Pilgrim’s Progress? Vanity Fair
represents all the fashionable and worldly things that distract Christians from their goal.
Do you live to enjoy this life only? Be careful! People who live only for this life will
regret it and wished they’d arranged their priorities differently on that day. They will say,
“Give us some of your oil.” How sad it will be for those people!
v. 10-15
“The door was shut.”
If these words trouble you, that is good. Now is the time to be concerned about this, not
an hour later. Ask God what you can do to make certain as many as possible are on the
inside of that door before it is closed.

I could imagine that Jesus cried as He told this part of the parable. This is why He came
to our world. We were all destined for destruction, but God loved us so much that He sent
His only son Jesus to pay for our sin. This is also why Jesus sent us out as workers in the
His harvest field.
Again, if these words trouble you, know that Jesus said them because the eternal
destination of each soul is of the utmost importance to Him as well. He cares about you,
your family, your neighbors, and your friends much more than you do.
v. 13
The door is not shut yet, but we don’t know the day or the hour.
If you are not sure that you are ready to meet Jesus, get right with God today. Make a
decision that from now on, you will be vigilant about your own soul. As Paul wrote, we
should “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.”
Let’s also pray for God to sent us out into His harvest field, and for more workers to be
sent out as well.