10 Virgins


By virtue of the title of this post, 10 Virgins, I am sure that today’s post will garner more views than most. I have noticed that views increase when the title has some alluring nature to it. Go figure. So as not to mislead you any further, this post is not about virgins or sex. It is about being ready for Jesus’ return. If that does not interest you, you can stop reading right now.

In the posts This Is How I Roll and God uses Similes, the notion of God using comparison and contrast to teach us was discussed. In the parable of the 10 Virgins, Jesus uses that parable to show what the kingdom of heaven will be like. Let’s go to Matthew 25 to read the parable.

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, 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.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘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.

I do not want to over simplify the text. There are a number of dynamics that surface in the text from use of virgins, to the number of virgins, to lamps/torches and lamps/torches with oil. Simply put, the point Jesus wants to convey from this parable is to be ready.

From Jewish customs, it has been proposed that there were ten lamps used in the Jewish bridal procession. Again, the focus should not necessarily be on the number but on the distinction. Let’s look at the similarities of the 10 Virgins:

  • all were invited to participate in the wedding (to know God)
  • all had lamps/torches (body for the Spirit to inhabit)
  • all had their lamps/torches with them as if to be ready (appeared to ready themselves for Christ i.e. some oil)
  • all all became drowsy and fell asleep (dealt with natural questions in waiting for Christ to return)
  • all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps (were aware that Jesus had indeed returned and positioned themselves for His return and acceptance of them)
  • all went in with the bridegroom to the wedding banquet.

Now, let’s look at the differences of the 10 Virgins:

  • five were wise (prepared for the coming of the bridegroom – Jesus)
  • five were foolish (unprepared for the coming of the bridegroom – Jesus)
  • five wise had more oil to light their lamp/torch (the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to live a godly life. verse source 1 & 2)
  • five foolish did not have more oil to light their lamp/torch
  • five foolish did not go in with the bridegroom to the wedding banquet

The Holy Spirit lights the way for the believer. Here, He is the dividing criteria. Those who have the Spirit and those who do not have the Spirit. Romans 8:9 “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” We see those five virgins who did not have the Spirit were not permitted into the kingdom of heaven. If Christ is not your Lord and Savior, you do not have the Spirit of Christ. You will be like the unwise virgins. Which of the 10 Virgins do you desire to be like? Do you desire to go into the wedding or have the door shut on you without a chance of ever entering?

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