[The Ten Bridesmaids: Matthew 25:1-13]
Also known as the Parable of the Ten Virgins
Not good and bad women– WISE and FOOLISH women.
Context: Disciples requested knowledge of a sign or signal of the coming of Jesus. (see Matthew 24:3)
- These ten women are waiting to escort the bridegroom for the torch lighting procession at the end of the ceremony as the bride is brought home.
- The torches/lamps would likely have been oil soaked rags on a stick. They would burn a few minutes and then be put back into the oil. If there was no more oil for lamp, they would have burnt out as soon as lit.
There was a delay – the church must be prepared to wait for PAROUSIA (pair-oo-see-ah) means “coming” or “presence” – used when discussing Second Coming of Christ in New Testament.
- They couldn’t share their oil with the others. We cannot share our salvation with others.
- There is a time of no return—when it is too late to change. The opportunity is lost.
- Outcome is heaven or hell – Matthew 25:11-12, Matthew 7:21-23
The lack of oil is similar to running out of gas.
- Miss warning signs
- False confidence
- Incorrect calculations – think they can get it later
The five foolish women did not run out of oil—they never had the oil.
ARE YOU READY??
Bible Study Questions
1) There are five wise women and five foolish women. Who are the five wise? Who are the five foolish?
2) This parable distinguishes between two groups. What were the similarities between the wise women and foolish women?
3) Read Matthew 7:23. Reread verse 12 from today’s parable. What can you notice from both of these verses? What does this mean?
4) Many scholars believe the oil represents the Holy Spirit. The lamp has been called the Lamp of Profession. How does one receive the Holy Spirit?
5) How could these foolish women believe they would escort the bridegroom without the oil?
6) We cannot share our salvation with others, but what can we do before the Parousia (Second Coming of Christ)?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.
When my daughter thought I was returning at one time, but I was returning a bit earlier, she decided to put her chores off till later in the day. To her surprise, she did not hear the correct time and since she put off her chores, I returned before she even started the work she was assigned. As I walked into the kitchen, she immediately said, “I didn’t know you were coming home already” and she began running to quickly do her chores.
If she would have not put off doing her chores, she might have had some or all of them accomplished before I returned. She was only off a few hours from the actual time I was going to return, which meant she was waiting till the last minute to prepare herself for my return. This is so like those who are not prepared for the return of Jesus. We don’t know the time of His return, but we do know that He is coming. We have a task set before us and we should not be found pushing things off thinking he will be awhile.
In Matthew 25, the bridgegroom took a long time to arrive so people began to tire and fall asleep. Some of the virgins were wise and had oil, while others were foolish and had none. Eventually the bridegroom came and to the people who were not prepared came the punishment of not being allowed entrance to the wedding feast. It is so important to always be ready.
“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” – Matthew 25:13 [NLT]
Whenever I leave the house and do not take my dog Max with me, he will look out the kitchen window for me while I am gone. There is a bench my grandfather built long ago that he puts his paws upon to hold himself up to see out at the drive way. I have found that if I am only gone a short while, my dog Max is still waiting by the window awaiting my arrival. However, if I am gone for hours, he has long given up on watching out the window. Instead, he is resting on the sofa at his special spot.
This reminds me a lot of the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25). There were ten virgins, five who were prepared and five who were unprepared. “The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep” (25:3-5 NIV). It ended up that when the bridegroom returned, he told the five who were unprepared that he did not know them. We are told to be watchful because we do not know the time of the return of Christ.
So the questions I have for you to ask yourselves today are:
*Are you like my dog Max?
*Are you waiting by the window, prepared to greet your Master?
*Have you gotten tired of waiting, and walked to the sofa to rest?
We don’t know the time or the hour, but we do know what awaits us if there is no oil in our lamps. I pray that today you are able to find renewed energy for your walk with Christ. We are not promised an easy life, but we are promised that He will be by our side through it all.