As I read through this parable in Matthew 25 regarding the women and their lamps, I resonated with many of the truths and lessons woven into these beautiful verses. Take a moment to read the parable:
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
What a perfect parable for right now! Let’s look at the lessons:
1. Jesus is telling us to be prepared! Do we have oil in our lamps?
2. Do we believe that we have no responsibility for being prepared?
3. Do we expect others to give us their portion because we failed to do our part in being prepared?
4. Will you miss the moment because you didn’t prepare as you should have?
5. What is the oil you need in your lamp right now?
This parable is so timely. Jesus is telling us that we cannot wait for our salvation. If our lamps are empty or extinguished, we cannot be the light He needs us to be.
Those who believe should be in preparation. This means prayer, bible study, loving others, serving, teaching, leading, or whatever He has asked of you. The lesson here is that today is the day to be busy for the Lord.
The warning is for those who are not prepared. Those who were too busy doing anything other than severing the Lord. And, look at the parable above, it didn’t say the virgins who didn’t have the extra oil were bad people, it says they were not ready and they hastily left. Too many people incorrectly believe that the good work they are doing in the world will get them into heaven. However, if they are doing this on their own and without Christ, he clearly tells them that He does NOT KNOW THEM!
What a lesson for all of us. We must examine our lives critically and honestly. What are the things you have been spending your time and energy on that do not honor God or help to expand His Kingdom? Is your lamp full of oil and are you preparing for the long night?