Scripture reading – Matthew 25
We noticed in Matthew 24 the signs of the Second Coming of Christ at the close of the Tribulation. Matthew 25 urges believers to not only understand the signs of the times, but also to be prepared and living in expectation of Christ’s coming.
Continuing His discourse on the Mount of Olives, Jesus taught three parables: “The Parable of the Ten Virgins” (25:1-13) and “The Parable of the Talents” (25:14-30) illustrated the urgency of being prepared for Christ’s sudden return, since no man could know the day or the hour He would appear. The third parable, The Parable of the Sheep and Goats, illustrates God’s final judgment of nations (25:31-46). Today’s devotional commentary will focus on the first of the three parables.
Matthew 25:1-13 – The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Jesus revealed to His disciples the signs that would mark the close of the Great Tribulation, and precede His coming (24:6-30). Understanding the LORD’S return would be sudden, The Parable of the Ten Virgins emphasized the need to be ready, and looking for Christ to come.
To understand the parable, we must first identify its symbolisms. The bridegroom is Jesus Christ, and the ten virgins represent professing believers (25:1) who are waiting on the groom (Jesus Christ) to come for His bride. The lamps, I believe, are symbolic of the lives of the virgins, and the oil for the lamps is the Holy Spirit.
I have stated in earlier devotions that it was the custom of the bridegroom to provide wedding garments for his guest. We find in this parable, ten virgins who were outwardly, appropriately dressed for a wedding; however, they are identified as five who were wise and five who were foolish (25:2).
The difference in the wise and foolish virgins was not their dress, but the provision of oil for their lamps. The foolish virgins came to meet the groom; however, they had failed to make provision to have oil for their lamps (25:3). The wise virgins came as well, and had oil for their lamps, anticipating the groom might appear at any hour (25:4).
Not knowing when the groom would come for his bride, he appeared to delay his coming, and the virgins fell asleep. At midnight, the virgins were awakened by a loud cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (25:6).
Rising from their sleep to meet the groom, the virgins trimmed the wicks of their lamps. The foolish virgins, however, realized too late that they had failed to acquire oil for their lamps. They began to plead with the wise virgins, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out” (25:8).
The wise virgins, knowing they had only enough oil for themselves, refused the request of the foolish virgins (25:9). Their denial was not out of callousness, but because they had only enough oil for themselves. The wise urged the foolish to go, and purchase oil for themselves (25:9). Sadly, the foolish virgins soon realized it was too late, and the sellers of oil had closed their shops.
The bridegroom appeared while the foolish virgins were away, and he invited the wise virgins to join him, and then shut the door (25:10). When the foolish virgins returned to the wedding, they found the door of the house was closed. Though they begged urgently, “Lord, Lord, open to us” (25:11), their pleadings had come too late, and the groom answered them, “I know you not” (25:12).
The five virgins were foolish, not because of the company they kept. They were in the presence of sincere believers whose lamps were filled with oil (representing the Holy Spirit, and were faithfully watching and waiting for the Lord to come for His people). They were foolish because they were insincere in their profession, and had not prepared their hearts by trusting the LORD for their salvation, and having the oil of His Spirit fill their souls.
Friend, there is an overriding truth that is the subject of this parable and it is found in the concluding verse: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (25:13).
Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ? Is He your Savior? If so, His Holy Spirit, like oil in a lamp, has filled your soul. If not, you risk finding one day that you have waited too late. When Christ comes, the door to heaven and eternal life will be barred to your entrance.
Watch! Be Ready! Be prepared, for the LORD is coming; however, no man knows the day or the hour He will appear (25:30, 36).
Are you ready for His coming?
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith