by Rev Joel Yong
Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise answered, saying, Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves. And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, lord, open to us. But he answered, Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
In case you are wondering- yes there is a difference to Jesus- the way he views the sincere believer and hypocrites who claim to believe.
Matthew Henry writes:
“As Christians we profess to attend upon Christ, to honour him, also to be waiting for his coming. Sincere Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones. Those are the truly wise or foolish that are so in the affairs of their souls. Many have a lamp of profession in their hands, but have not, in their hearts, sound knowledge and settled resolution, which are needed to carry them through the services and trials of the present
Saying we believe, is not the same as living like we believe.
If our faith is superficial- when the going gets tough, we will cave and give way to the other distractions and temptations all around us, and cease to follow Christ.
The wise virgins kept their lamps burning and stayed awake.
They knew WHAT they had to do, and they knew WHOM they were waiting for.
The foolish virgins did not embrace their task with seriousness. They slept! They did not even prepare oil to keep their lamps burning!
Imagine if your father gave you a task and told you he’d be back to check on your progress.
While he is gone, you sleep or you say “I have a real job, let the pastor and full time staff labor at it.” or you think “My father won’t mind if I don’t complete it.”
Your father asked you to keep yourself pure and steadfastly remember his words – but while he is gone, you indulged in whatever vices your friends asked you to – contrary to his instructions and instead of doing the work he set for you, you build your own little hobby project instead.
That’s like the foolish virgins who slept and didn’t even bother to prepare enough oil to light their lamps and welcome the groom.
Why should such, who take the groom for granted – be taken in by him when he comes?