Sunday, November 6, 2011
At the end of the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) Jesus says (for about the fifth time in two chapters) that we should keep watch because we do not know when he will return. Who are the ten virgins? We are. All ten have torches or lamps. The torches represent our outward appearance in regards to religion. A lot of people call themselves Christians, but maybe only half of them really are.
Five of the ten virgins are prepared for the bridegroom’s late return by having extra oil for their lamps. The bridegroom is, of course, Jesus, and the oil represents the Holy Spirit. Five don’t have that oil; they don’t really believe in Jesus.
The bridegroom returns at midnight, an unexpected time, just as Jesus warns. The unprepared virgins beg the ones with oil to share. They won’t. Are they selfish? Not at all. You can’t share salvation. You must get it for yourself. The unprepared virgins run to town to buy oil.
The prepared virgins enter the wedding banquet and the door is shut.
The door is shut. There is such finality to that statement. It’s too late for the ones who were unprepared. No second chances.
(more posts on parables: parable of the tenants, parable of the wedding banquet, parable on paying taxes)