Here’s another parable Jesus tells. This time he’s talking to his disciples. The first word is “then.” If you want to know when “then” refers to, read Matthew chapter 24. At least know that the disciples had just asked about signs of the end of the age. This parable is the beginning of chapter 25.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom!’ Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, saying, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. And later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered and said, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”
Matthew 25: 1-13
We’ll continue hearing Jesus talk to his disciples in Matthew chapter 25 tomorrow and the next day, but for now, write a kingdom statement for this part. It’s the statement you’ll replace your worry thoughts with today.
I have always secretly hoped that those who die will get one chance to see God and say, “Oh! It is true!” and choose Him. But this passage does not seem to support that idea, does it? I take heart in knowing that God really wants us to believe. Jesus let Thomas touch his wounds to give him the proof he needed.
Another thing this passage always makes me think about is that a bunch of men were sitting around hearing Jesus compare them to brides. Many a fairy tale ends with a woman who gets to marry a prince, and often the tales are Christian metaphors. Men, have you ever watched a movie and tried to identify with the damsel in distress? The one who needs saving? Because sometimes, metaphorically, you are the damsel, not the mysterious, flawless prince. Sorry.
What’s your kingdom statement for today?
*New American Standard Bible verses used in the book version of this devotional with permission from The Lockman Foundation.