The Ten Bridesmaids
27 May 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
1 “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’ 7 “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ 9 “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’ 13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return. (Matthew 25:1–13 NLT)
This is a parable, a made-up story Jesus used to illustrate a spiritual truth. The Kingdom of Heaven is like…this! You know what hit me when I read this? It doesn’t seem fair! The ten bridesmaids were right where they were supposed to be, doing just what they were supposed to do—waiting for the bridegroom and the wedding party to arrive. The next thing that hit me is why didn’t the five “wise” bridesmaids help the five “foolish” bridesmaids? Jesus is all about giving, serving, helping others in a tough spot! I realized there’s gotta be another point here.
Everything Jesus has been saying in the red words of Matthew 24 is about: 1) Jesus is leaving, but he’s coming back! 2) Nobody knows the exact time of his return, so long or short time, get ready, be ready, and stay ready! Now Jesus adds another element to the “Be Ready” emphasis: 3) No one can get ready, be ready, and stay ready for you! This is something you have to do for yourself. Your spiritual condition is up to you! It’s your responsibility. Be wise, not foolish, be awake, not asleep, do whatever you need to do to be ready for his return. Seems tough, but remember, Jesus is about to go to the cross and the tomb out of love for the wise and foolish alike. He does not want anyone to be left out in the street when the door is locked!
Father, May we all be ready! May we get ready and stay ready! Keep challenging us and keep us challenging and encouraging each other to be ready! In Jesus’ Name.