Lesson Scriptures: Matthew 25:1-13
Key Lesson Theme: “Stay Prepared & Ready”
Today's Lesson: Friday, May 27
1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom.
2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
3 When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them;
4 but the wise ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps.
5 When the groom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’
7 “Then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
8 The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’
9 “The wise ones answered, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Go instead to those who sell oil, and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.
11 Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us!’
12 “He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you!’
13 “Therefore be alert, because you don’t know either the day or the hour.
Live It Out
As stated over and over, this is a parable teaching watchfulness and preparation for the Lord’s return at the end of the age. Yet, it does have some features of an allegory. Consider these allegorical elements. The bridegroom is Jesus, the center of attention in the story. The ten maidens are the people of the earth who are awaiting His return. Some are prepared for His coming; others are not. The delay of the bridegroom is the time of waiting for the Lord to return. The bridegroom’s sudden coming with shouts of proclamation is the parousia, the returning presence of Christ in great glory. The gathering for the marriage feast is the celebration of the saints when Christ comes. Those who were able to enter the feast were those who were prepared for His coming. Those foolish maidens who were rejected and denied entrance represent the judgment that will come upon those who were not prepared for His coming. “This parable should be a ringing warning to everyone not to presume upon time, opportunity, or the tarrying of the Lord.”
If we review verse 1, we remember that this is a parable likening the kingdom of heaven “unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” How is the kingdom like that situation? Consider how Stagg assessed it. “It [the kingdom] comes offering salvation but also judgment. There is a time for preparation and a time when it is too late to prepare. This is the point of the emphasis.”
In a previous session we were urged to serve Christ faithfully as we wait for His return. That is a worthy and Christ-honoring endeavor. We can do something else in anticipation of His coming, and that is to deepen our relationship with Him. We are not to be satisfied with what we are but strive to be all that He has called us to be.
Peter addressed such in his second letter. He wrote, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” (2 Pet. 3:10). Wonder where Peter heard that (Matt. 24:43)? Then he added, “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of day of God … Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, or blameless … But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:11-18).
So, let’s put it all together. Stay prepared and ready for the Lord’s return. In the meantime, serve Him faithfully, represent Him well before a world that needs to know about Him. Furthermore, be a person of increasing grace and be committed to knowing more about Jesus so that you may live more like Him. Such will keep you from being ashamed or shamed at His coming. And we can join in saying, “To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (v. 18).
What are some practical ways that you can live out the principle of staying prepared and being ready for Christ’s return? How can practical expressions enhance your verbal testimony of who Christ is to you and that you truly believe He is coming again?
To whom can you emphasize the truth that while you are praying for him/her and want to encourage him/her to be ready for Christ’s return, you cannot prepare for them; that each person is responsible for himself/herself.
In this series of lessons about Christ’s return and the end times, what has encouraged you most or helped you to affirm that you are ready to meet the Lord?
Until next week Saints…..
Every day is Sunday