Matthew 25: 1- 13
How does laziness insult God? How does it keep you from succeeding in life and in your faith?
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!’ Matthew 25: 5- 6
“Behold the bridegroom.” The groom’s whereabouts were often heralded to the waiting guests by announcers. As “grooms” were often late in that culture, something they should have known and been prepared for. When was the last time you went to a Wedding that started on time?
Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. Matthew 25: 7
They should have known as we should know. “Grooms” were often late in that culture, something they should have known and been prepared for. When was the last time you went to a Wedding that started on time?
“Behold the bridegroom.” The groom’s whereabouts were often heralded to the waiting guests by announcers.
The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ Matthew 25: 8
Give us. They probably kept the torches burning slightly to be ready; it was difficult to relight them in an era before matches. Extra oil was necessary!
For the Church, the oil can represent the Holy Spirit. As the virgins received their conviction, what their duty and responsibilities were, only half of them responded wisely.
“‘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.’ 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. Matthew 25: 9-10
There was no place to buy oil at night; they would have had to wake someone up or borrow. As, the door was shut. Most homes were in a courtyard where a main door closed it off to the rest of the community for safety; it also served to corral the animals, thus shutting out visitors and those who were late.
Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ Matthew 25: 11
Lord, Lord, as in master, master (not God). To us, it refers to the analogy of God shutting Himself off to converts after it is too late for them—after they die, or after Christ comes back!
But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Matthew 25: 12
Then the frightful response, I do not know you. Their neglect cost them the wedding and precious opportunities. They were responsible for the most crucial aspect of the Jewish wedding ceremony, escorting the bride into the groom’s home to consummate the marriage. They insulted the host, neglected the bride, offended the groom, dismantled their reputation in their community and forsook opportunity in favor of laziness. Therefore, they were not admitted to the feast, and they probably did not meet their future grooms. (Marriages were prearranged; going to a wedding was a way to get to know their potential groom and his family as a part of courtship.)They most definitely offended any potential in-laws!
The foolish succumbed to the fate that they set in motion. They will be judged and removed from the wise. The wasteful and fearful will be separated from those who love and trust in Christ (Matt. 25:31-46).
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 25: 13
Keep watch. This is the main point of the parable. To be ready is to be prepared for a long delay, as Christ may return tomorrow or in another two thousand years. His timing is to help our faith development and preparedness. The day or the hour—the parousia, meaning, the coming of Christ (Matt. 16:27; John 14:2-3)!
The main point? Are you ready for His coming? What stops you from being prepared? For us, it means to obey by keeping our minds on Christ as Lord—always! When our minds are on Him, we are ready for anything, even His return! Professing your faith is only as real as you make it, because it can be faked!
What is this not about? No. This was not about not sharing; if they did share, they probably would not have had enough oil for any of the touches later on for the groom; thus, no procession or illumination would have taken place! The wedding ceremony would have been a disaster.
In order to obey Christ, we must keep our minds on Him, because the only real cure for laziness is to be filled with Him. Obeying is faithfulness; it is not about education, intelligence, or skill. Rather, it is accepting the task He gives us and doing it. It is taking what He has given, then replicating, increasing, and using it for the benefit of others—as well as for our own growth—for His glory (1 Cor. 4:2). Those five wise virgins knew this; the other five neglected it. Thus, the foolish ones were not just judged by the wise, but, rather, by what they were capable of. God judges us against ourselves! So, never worry what others are doing; only seek what you can do better! To be ready is to be prepared for a long delay, as Christ may return tomorrow or in another two thousand years. His timing is to help our faith development and preparedness. Seek Him, and let your confidence be in who you are in Him—not how others respond to you! May God’s oil of His grace keep you lit!
Questions to Ponder
Have you ever wasted what Jesus gives? How can you, why should you, and what actions can you take to avoid being lazy?
How does not being prepared cause one to pass up vital opportunities? Have you done this? Have you seen others do this? Has this been done to you? If so, how did you feel?
What is the oil that keeps your lamp of faith lit? What does it need to be?
What does Jesus want you to understand from this parable?
© 2004, 2011, R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org