The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Matthew 24:36-25:13The Parable of the Ten Virgins is a warning against the temptation of careless, fool-ish and sinful living as we await the return of Christ.
We will answer two questions:
1. Why should we be ready for the return of Jesus? 2. How should we live for the return of Jesus?
“Day and hour” is referring to the second coming of Christ (Mt. 24:29-31; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 19:11-16).
Here is the truth: we cannot and will not know when Jesus will return.
Jesus is comparing what happened in the days of Noah to what will happen when He returns.
Living careless, sinful and even distracted lives can blind us and make us ineffec- tive and unfruitful in our knowledge of God. (2 Peter 1:8-10)
Like in the days of Noah, we also today face the temptation of being distracted with this life, falling into sinful habits and living carelessly.
In a moment’s notice, while everyone is busy in their daily lives, like a thief in the night, Jesus will return to take some into salvation and others remain in judgement (1 Thess. 5:2-4, 2 Peter 3:10; Rev. 16:15).
The command to “stay awake” is not a command to remain physically awake butspiritually awake; it is a state-of-mind.
To be Spiritually Awake Means...
1) Be constantly aware that Jesus will return suddenly (1 Thess. 5:2-4)
2) Be sober-minded in our thoughts and decisions (1 Thess. 5:6-8; 1 Pet. 1:13)
Jesus warns us to...
I. Be aware of the sudden return of Christ and remain sober-minded
Although we cannot possibly know when Jesus will return, we can know with confidence that He will return. If we know Jesus is returning, it is foolish not to be ready for it.
Be Ready Means...
1) Obeying God (1 Pet. 1:14-16)
2) Setting your mind on heavenly things (Col 3:1-4)
Jesus is warning us not to get caught up in setting our minds on earthly things when we should be setting our minds on heavenly things.
Prudent-acting with or showing care and thought for the future.
The danger in thinking “Jesus is not coming soon” is that it opens us up to live a careless, reckless, whimsical life while we still profess to follow Christ.
Living a hypocritical life will result in judgement, frustration, and anger.
Jesus warns us to...
II. Be ready by obeying God and setting your mind on heavenly things
In the Old Testament, God described Himself as the bridegroom to Israel -God promises to redeem Israel (Is. 54:4-6).
-Israel was an unfaithful bride to God (Hos. 1:2; 3:1-3).
God promised that one day, He would pursue His people and redeem them from their spiritual adultery (idolatry).
Jesus is telling us here that “I am the bridegroom and I have come to redeem you, to love you and delight in you.” (Eph. 5:25-27).
The ten virgins represent the visible church-those who profess to be Christians.
Jesus is not saying...
-We should practice polygamy.
-The ten virgins are the bride but instead are the bridesmaids.
The parable of the ten virgins is taking place after the wedding and the virgins were preparing to go with the bridegroom to the banquet.
These lamps were large dome-shaped torches that were fueled by rags soaked in oil and you would need to regularly replenish the oil to keep the torch lit.
The prudent (wise) are thinking ahead and prepare themselves by taking oil.
If we know that something is coming in the future, then the wise thing to do is prepare for it today.
The point is this: if we know Jesus is coming back, then the wise thing to do is prepare for it and be ready.
“As the bridegroom was delayed, they all become drowsy and slept.” Matthew 25:5
The bridegroom being delayed is a picture of Jesus and His intentional plan to return at the perfect moment. (2 Pet. 3:8-10)
Notice that all the virgins fall asleep showing that sleeping is not the problem -The daily, necessary tasks in life are important to complete. -Sleeping, eating, working, serving, enjoying life is not the problem.
Instead of being responsible and prepared, the foolish ask the prudent to give up some of their oil.
Every person has a personal responsibility to be ready.
“Those who were ready” enter into the eternal wedding banquet (Rev. 19:9).
The word here for “shut” has an implied meaning that it is locked which is a picture that the door of eternal life with Jesus will one day be permanently closed.
The phrase “I do not know you” is a sign that these virgins did not actually know the bridegroom.
All throughout the Bible, true salvation is equal to knowing God. (Gal. 4:8-9)
Jesus warns us to...
III. Be watchful over our lives
Marriage of God and the Church (Rev. 19:6-8)
Our commitment to Jesus cannot be seasonal or fleeting but it must be a life-long, consistent and genuine.
Jesus did not die to date you, He died so that He could marry you.
Challenge: Are you dating Jesus or are you ready to marry Jesus?