Matthew 25a

The kingdom of heaven is like virgins meeting the groom 1
The foolish virgins' oil running out 7
Later, the foolish virgins not admitted by the groom 10
Watch because we do not know when the Master will come 13
Text - Marriage Feast
The foolish virgins are surprised
The first of three parables that emphasize readiness
.1 ¶ Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
 2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Oriental lamp (The wick goes into the smaller hole)

Texts often include more than the verse indicated in the link code.

  Then Greek, toteh, meaning "at that time." Here it is at the time of the wicked servant of mt2448 whose Lord (Christ) would come unexpectedly. This parable of the wedding and those that follow relate to our preparation for His return to take us home to heaven jn1401.
  Ten virgins Unmarried young women who represent people with the light of truth. Ten may have been a convenient number for a set but consider ge1832. The next story is about ten talents.
  Lamps They studied their Bibles ps119105.
  Meet We infer that the wedding had been announced for a specific time. The women had a plan to meet the groom.
  Bridegroom Simply, "groom"
  Five of them All had accepted the invitation, were expecting the groom to come, had their lamps, and took a nap when he didn't show up as expected.
.3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
 4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
  Foolish These were not hypocrites. They had accepted truth but lacked the deep personal experience in the Lord ez3331, 2ti0302, mt1305. They took only the oil in their lamps.
  Oil The Holy Spirit's gift is the oil that provides light ps119105, zc04. The light is the message of mercy ep0212.
.5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
 6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him
  Bridegroom tarried The groom lingered before coming. He didn't appear when expected." See note for v5.
  All slumbered and slept Even the wise ones tended to lose their zeal. The disciples who listened to this story mt2401 no doubt included the three who, a few days later, would fail to remain awake and pray with Jesus mr1437.
  At midnight A time of great spiritual darkness is6001.
  Cry God's final call to the lost world re1804.
.7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
 9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
  Give us of your oil The supply of oil represents character formation under the influence of the Holy Spirit (light from the lamps) It cannot be given to another ez1420.
  Gone out Rather, "going out."
  Buy for yourselves Before Jesus comes we may expect false teachers who will offer ways of salvation mt2411.
.10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
 11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
 12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
  They that were ready They joined the groom. But the guests are not the bride. See note on v10.
  Door was shut What awesome words lu1324,5! The foolish five were not part of the marriage. Probation will soon close for humanity as it did at the time of the flood. ge0603.
  I know you not A crushing disappointment! They found themselves strangers, not on the list of expected wedding guests. They lacked the solid character formation represented by the extra oil. They had begun to doubt. Their unpopular doctrines had embarrassed them and they gradually turned away. Now the door was shut. They were beyond the time of change is5506, he0604, mt1231, am0811f. Please understand. Those whose hearts still treasure the things of God are not in this category. The wise virgins had slept, too, but they had awakened and entered the place of marriage where God's final people are bonded to Him in a special sealing re0704.
.13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.   Watch We are safe as we keep seeking the closeness to Christ through the true gift of the Holy Spirit.
  Wherein the Son of man cometh Notice that the critical time of readiness for the living righteous is at the coming of Christ mt2430f, is2509. It is thus not at the supposed rapture time. There will be no second chance!
Sequel beginning at lu1235 as noted below.

Note for v5 - The groom was late
    Until this verse, we would consider Jesus' story as only a set of good principles for being ready for His second coming. The particular situation of the unexpected delay, however, catches our attention. Over the years, many have expected His return. This disappointment is an important principle. But Jesus is telling us that He, as the groom coming to take His bride home, would be expected at one time but would show up later. Now we see that the parable is a prophecy about His coming, beginning with the preparation just before the event. Also notice that the delay was intentional. Has any end-time group of Christians thought they knew when He would come but was surprised when He didn't appear at the expected time? Consider xx
    This sort of surprise had just happened when Jesus told this story. Many wanted to make Him king jn0615. The prophecies said the Branch or Messiah would rule zc0612f. So when He came into Jerusalem on a donkey the crowd praised Him as king mt2106ff. They must have been disappointed when He didn't do some miracles and take over the Roman Empire. Then soon after telling our story about the virgins, He allowed Himself to be taken and crucified! Bitter disappointment for many. Even the disciples didn't understand until later. Was a similar misunderstanding to happen just before His return in glory? Yes. You may wish to see on re0611a and follow links for clarification.

Note for v10 - Going into the marriage place with Christ
    What then does it mean to enter the place of marriage? Is it going to heaven? No. Luke helps us understand. At the end of the marriage the young men were to be ready. Then their master would come, knock, enter quickly and serve them lu1235ff. So, symbolized as women, we go into the wedding place. As men, we wait for the end of the wedding when we immediately participate in the marriage celebration meal. This feast is described in re1907 as the marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven.
    How does Christ receive His people and recognize them as His bride? Coming to the wedding is a qualification process Ś a judgment. All who are followers of Christ come but, as we saw, only those with deep personal commitment enter.
    In the v5 note above we looked at the surprise delay of the coming of the groom. As we consider the judgment in Daniel 7 da0713, we discover where the groom went instead of coming to earth in glory. He went to the Ancient of Days and the records were examined (Christ's heavenly day-of-atonement ministry). Then He was pronounced king over the righteous ones who, by their choice to accept His pure way of life, had become His subjects.
    Returning to the symbols of our parable, five virgins went in. Then those who, during the wedding time, had stayed dressed in Christ's righteousness keeping their lamps burning, were ready to meet their Lord. They went to the celebration in heaven. In this whole process the righteous, as a group, become the brideŚChrist's church for eternity.
    To understand how we enter the wedding place, remember that Christ is in heaven ministering in the sanctuary there as described in Hebrews he0415. The next verse in Hebrews tells us how we approach Him. We don't take a space ship to heaven but go by faith to God's throne there.
    I've traced the picture to give you a framework for understanding. Now, examine the texts prayerfully. Links above take you to all of them except the passage in Daniel: (judgment, da0709f), and (verdict, da0713f).
    We see the selection event in a different set of symbols in the first part of mt22. There the king inspects the guests and excludes those not dressed properly for the feast.

How do the wedding guests relate to the bride? Click.

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