Corinthians 1:17-25, Psalm 33; and Matthew 25:1-13
So what’s up with those foolish virgins? And most importantly, how can we use this parable to better prepare ourselves for the heavenly wedding feast? After all, God desires that all of his children enter into his kingdom and the bliss of the wedding feast.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:32 (RSVCE)
Jesus gave us many parables describing heaven during his earthly ministry. My guess is that he had to use parables because our human minds could never grasp the vastness and beautiful reality of heaven. However, it seems that his parables describing heaven seem to leave us a bit fearful sometimes. In today’s parable the foolish virgins are locked outside the wedding feast, destined to live a life without their bridegroom. Yikes! To be so close and yet so far…
The Wise Virgins
What the wise virgins possessed that the foolish virgins did not was oil for their lamps. While all ten virgins carried their lamps, only half of them thought to carry the necessary oil so that they could light them at the required time. So what does the lamp and oil symbolize? And why did Jesus speak of heaven in the terms of lamp, oil, and virgins?
We see “lamp” used many times in scripture and it signifies the light of Christ within each and every one of us. Remember, we have been given the greatest gift of all – the light of Jesus Christ dwelling with in us! Moreover, we are called, like the ten virgins, to put this lamp high on a table for all to see. Our lamps must shine in the darkness, in the world filled with the sin and death that creates darkness.
We, like the virgins, will also become drowsy and fall asleep in this world from time to time. We will fall into sin – we will fall asleep and not see the light. At times we may feel lost in the darkness of this world. Yet, today’s Psalm reminds us that “The earth is filled with the goodness of the Lord.” If we have oil for our lamp, when we awaken our lamp will shine and we will see clearly the goodness around us. We can even offer light for others – especially those “foolish virgins” in search of the truth. We are called to be a light for all before the bridegroom arrives my friends. The world needs to see the light of Christ being illuminated through us.
“Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” – Matthew 5:15 (RSVCE)
Each virgin took her lamp with her. They each took Jesus Christ with them and this is why they were in “The Kingdom of heaven” to begin with. However, not all of them brought the oil necessary for their lamp’s illumination and this caused the unprepared virgins distress. What a frenetic trip back to the merchants that must have been – an trip that would forever separate them from their bridegroom because time had run out.
You see, Jesus Christ is in each and every one of us; however, we must do our part and supply the oil needed for his illumination inside of us. We must create the time and space in our life where we deepen our relationship with Jesus on a daily basis. We must carry our oil with us and make sure we have enough reserves to last through the dark times…