Are You Wise or Foolish
While Jesus was here on earth, when He taught, He always used subject matter with which the people around Him, and future generations, could easily understand. The Jewish people, for example, understood protocol, how to follow rules (most of the time). What I am referring to is this: If one was invited to a wedding, one would have the option to go to that wedding, or not to go. But, if one did not receive an invitation to the wedding, he would be considered very ill mannered, if he showed up at that wedding. And may be asked to leave. That holds true even to this day, 2010.
In the Book of St. Matthew 25:1- 13, tells what I consider, a very profound story. Here the Lord talks about two groups of people, who had a lot in common. They both seemed to be heading for the same destination, a wedding. Both groups headed out at the same time, but the two groups ended up in two very different places.
St. Matthew 25: 1-13
1. " Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Here we see the two groups of people . What they had in common was the fact that they were all "virgins". They were somehow clean living people. Their behavior was acceptable in their communities. They dressed the part. They looked the part. Neither one of them would have been considered unholy by todays standards.
2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
But though they both appeared to be clean living, the Word of God says, that five of them, that is 50% of them, were wise; and 50% of them were foolish.
3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them.
Now, this is the first group of people who are on their way to this wedding, which I call the "Ultimate Wedding". In other words, once we get to this wedding, there will be no other need to attend a wedding. This wedding, in my estimation, speaks of the marriage of God, to His people, or the church. And this first group of people believe, for whatever reason, that they are invited to attend.
This first group of people, the five foolish virgins are somewhat prepared. Look at the fact that they took their lamps with them. The lamps represents the soul of man. This says that they knew that the journey would be long. But they underestimated how long. Because, though they took their lamps, and the lamp had some oil in them, their mistake was, they "failed" to take any extra oil with them. And they took the wrong oil. They evidently believed that they had enough oil in their vessel to last the entire trip. They did realize that there would be times when there would be light outside, and there would be times when there would be darkness.
I believe that the oil that is in their lamps, represented God the Holy Spirit. For He, the Holy Spirit, is the one that guides us in this life. He is that light. So this group of people had, at some point, some type of spirit in their lives, but not the Holy Spirit. They had some type of religion, but not the real thing. We will see later what happens to the oil and thus the light they were carrying.
Later, we will see that both groups were traveling in the company of each other. Each one of the groups "slept" while the bridegroom tarried. This sleep speaks of the sleep of death. In other words, there shall come a time when we shall all experience death, in one form or another. We shall leave this earth.
4. "But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Now we observe the second group of virgins. They are called "wise". This group of virgins prepared themselves for this journey very differently than the foolish virgins. The wise virgins took their lamps, but they took extra oil with them, along with the oil that was already in their lamps. This oil, as stated before represents the Holy Spirit. We must not only believe God, we must receive Him into our lives in the fullness, so that we may be able to make the journey to this ultimate wedding in peace. We also must cultivate the Holy Spirit that is within us.
5. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Again these two groups of virgins have something else in common. The all slept, while they were waiting for the bridegroom to come. This sleep they speak of here, is the sleep of death. We will all, at some point have death in common. The Book of Hebrews, 9:26-27, talks about the fact that Jesus suffered death one time for us, therefore, we to must suffer death once. So that while we wait for the return of Jesus to this earth, most of us will pass through the transitional state called death.
6. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
In times past, men had the job of "the town crier." This is what we see happening here in verse 6. The town crier, makes the announcement: ".....Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." The town criers are pastors, prophets, evangelist and teaches, who are crying out to the world, "the bridegroom cometh". The bridegroom, who is none other than Jesus Christ, Himself, at His great return to earth, to receive His people. In this scene, Jesus has made His re-entry into the great planet earth. And we his people are called to go out to meet Him. This time shall be the end of life as we know it.
7. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
The fact that all the 10 virgins arose, both the wise and the foolish, teaches us that we all shall rise from the dead.
All shall sleep in the grave, and all shall arise from the dead, but some shall enter into everlasting punishment and others into eternal life. Read St. Matthew 25:46.
And they all trimmed their lamps. These all went to sleep in hope that they would receive eternal life. Even when they got up, they were still expecting to meet the bridegroom. They all got up, and trimmed their lamps. They were very close to this wedding. They were just seconds away from the door.
8. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Now you city slickers, or young people, who have never been forced to use an oil lamp, may not be able to picture this thing. But those of us who are now considered Senior Citizens, have no doubt seen one of these lamps, and many of us have used them. The oil is at the bottom of the lamp, normally kerosene, and there is a wick made of cloth which sits in the oil, and extends from the bottom of the bottle of oils, up through the hardware of the lamp and pulls the oil from the bottom of the lamp upward, and wets the wick with oil. One then lights the wick. There is normally a glass globe over the light unit to protect the user, and reflects light. This glass must be cleaned periodically. Once the wick has burned for a while, the end of the wick becomes burned, and must be trimmed off to expose new wick, before the owner can light it again. If, in the meanwhile the oil has been used up, or dried out, the owner must get more oil before they can light the lamp again. This is what has happened in our story.
9. But the wise answered, saying Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
At this late time in this trip, no one can afford to care for his fellow. Every man must now be ready to meet his maker. There will be "no, please pray for me!" or "Please explain the Word of God to me!" There is no time for this. So then the last part of verse 9, the wise tells the foolish virgins, "...but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves."
At this point, it would not matter where the foolish virgins went to look for this oil they needed. They will never have time to go, get this thing straight, and come back, and attend this wedding.
I would offer, that they went and got more of the same oil, if at all.
10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, open to us.
So in verse 10, we find that the foolish virgins actually went somewhere to look for oil, or the spirit. I would offer that they went to the same places as they had gotten the oil before. They would have then ended up with the same oil. These foolish virgins also came back. They made a great effort to attend this wedding, or to gain eternal life, but they didn't make it. Listen to what the bridegroom say to the foolish virgins.
12. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
The foolish virgins were not known of the bridegroom, whom I presented to you as Jesus Christ. Though they were religious. They lived decent lives, but they did not have what they needed to enter eternal life. In case there are those who still do not believe that this wedding invitation has anything to do with eternal life, read verse 13 below.
13. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
This marriage is definitely about the return of the Lord to this earth. That is what we are preparing for.
This invitation, is extended to all who will, to come to the marriage supper of the Lord. It is the "invitation to the ultimate wedding". It is the invitation to eternal life. May the Lord richly bless you.
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