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THE TEN VIRGINS

 

This parable reminds us that Jesus Christ is coming back - and that we should be ready for his return.

Like the previous parable it uses the imagery of a wedding banquet - a time of feasting and celebration and joy. And so it was for those who were ready, but for those who were not ready it was a time of great disappointment, a time of hearing those cutting and final words 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'

They had fully expected to be allowed in. This fact is the frightening aspect of this parable. But the door is shut when they arrive, and those dreadful words are spoken.

Ought not the 'wise virgins' have shared the oil they had? Shouldn't they have shown Christlike compassion on these others? That depends on what the 'oil' in this parable represents. It is not a physical substance representing a physical reality. It is a physical substance representing a spiritual reality - the reality of a right relationship with Jesus Christ - a reality that cannot be divided in half, a reality that cannot be handed over to others, a reality that is extremely individual, extremely personal.

Each of us has to have our own 'oil' - our own knowledge, belief and acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is all that he claimed to be. We cannot borrow faith in Christ and knowledge of Christ from others. We each have to know him, believe in him, acknowledge him ourselves.

To know Christ is to be known by Christ.

To know Christ is to know God.

To know both Christ and his Father is to have eternal life.

To all who have this true faith in Christ the door to the 'wedding banquet' is never shut, and those terrible words 'I don't know you' will never be spoken.

'Therefore', Jesus said, 'keep watch.'

Make sure the faith that you have is true faith. 'Because you do not know the day or the hour.'

 

Scriptures: Matthew 25:1-13; John 8:19; 10:14,27; 14:6-9; 17:3; 1 John 1:2; 5:20.

 

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2004, 2010