The parables are sometimes scary for me. I read them and think that the I wouldn’t do any better than the servant with the single bag of silver or the bridesmaids who ran out of oil. How did they know?
What does this passage say about God, Jesus, and/or the Holy Spirit?
It reinforces the warning that Jesus will be return again and that we should be prepared. v5 “When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” This implies he will take longer to return that we expect.
As a generation, it seems we are all asleep. We know he will return, but we are drowsy in our waiting. No one believes in their heart of hearts than he could show up any day, any minute, now. So when the warning cry goes out, “He’s coming!” even the wise scramble to light their lamps. The difference between the wise and foolish girls is that the wise had extra oil and were able to light their lamps. The foolish girls ran out of oil and try to rectify the problem, but they were too late.
What does this passage tell us about people, life, or faith?
There are 10 girls: 5 five and 5 foolish. Right away, we can see that some people are wise and others are foolish. The ones who are wise are prepared (they bring plenty of oil) and they are ready to wait as long as they have to because the groom takes longer to come than expected. The ones who are foolish wait for the bridegroom but don’t adequately prepare. They run out of oil, and when they realize they need it, they run away to get it but miss his return.
It seems like the parable is talking about believers. The church believes Jesus is returning, but sometimes we fall off in our walk with Christ. We fall asleep in our complacency or, worse yet, turn away completely. It makes me think of the Scripture about “finishing the race.” It seems like the foolish bridesmaids didn’t finish the race. They ran out of oil too soon.
Of course, it could also be talking about believers (wise bridesmaids) versus non-believers (foolish bridesmaids). Everyone will see Jesus return, but those who were foolish and did not believe in him, will not get to spend eternity in heaven with him at the “feast.”
I want to be in the wise group.
Why did God put this passage in the Bible?
To remind us to be diligent. Jesus WILL return and it is our job to be ready. We need to fill up the oil in our lamps (grow spiritually).
How does this passage relate to my life?
I see older women of faith and there are two types: the ones who believe in God but do nothing and the ones who believe in God and still serve. The 70 year-old woman at my church that shows up every Thursday to help with the small tasks of getting ready for the weekend services. The woman in her nineties at my father-in-law church that ministers to young women. I want to be one of those ladies. The kind that continue to grow and blossom in Christ. The ones who don’t use age as an excuse to stop serving.
How can I put this truth into practice?
Foster good habits of prayer, Bible study, and service. Grow closer in my relationship with God so that he seeps out of my pores. To walk so closely with Jesus that anyone can see him when they look at me.
Prayer: Let these posts not be about me, let them be about You. Help me keep my eyes on You, Jesus. Let me be a wise bridesmaid. Let me stay vigilant. Wake me up when I fall asleep. Help me to bring extra oil.