“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.” (Matthew 25:1 NLT)
Like the other parables Jesus told, this is a fictional story designed to make one primary point, but from which other pertinent information can be gleaned. I will summarize the story that is recorded in Matthew 25:1-13, but it will be helpful if you read it yourself. It’s the story of ten bridesmaids who were invited to their friend’s wedding.
As was the custom in Jesus’ day, invitations were sent out, the wedding party chosen and all the details were set in place, but it was the father of the groom’s responsibility to actually choose the day and time of the wedding. It could occur anytime, but if you wanted to participate in the festivities, you had to be ready.
According to the story, five of the bridesmaids brought extra oil for their lamps, five did not. In verse 6 the Bible says: “At midnight they (the bridesmaids) were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’”
It’s safe to surmise that as the sun went down, the bridesmaids used their lamps to see while they waited, but after so long, they decided to turn off their lamps and go to sleep. Five of the bridesmaids anticipated the late arrival of the groom and brought extra oil, five did not.
At the sound of the announcement of the arrival of the groom, all the bridesmaids trimmed their lamps so they could go and greet him, but five of them didn’t bring extra oil, so their lamps were going out. With no time to waste, they asked the girls who’d brought extra oil if they would share, but were turned down and told to go and buy their own.
While the five were away trying to find more oil, the groom came, and the wedding party all went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was closed. When the five who’d gone for oil returned, they stood outside and shouted for someone to let them in, but the groom responded, “Believe me, I don’t know you!” (vs 12b)
So, what does this mean? But more importantly, what is this story’s relevance to me and you? The context of the story is shortly before Jesus’ betrayal, trial, torture and execution. The parable’s main point is: BE PREPARED! Jesus is speaking to His disciples and He’s telling them about what will happen to Him and about end times before His second coming.
There are those who want to “live it up,” in terms of the pleasures of this world, then at the last possible second, repent so they can go to heaven. From all outward appearances, all ten bridesmaids were ready. They were all dressed for the part, acted similarly, had desire to be included in the festivities and they all had their lamps, so what happened?
In the story, the oil represented preparedness. But for the believer, what is the critical, irreplaceable “oil” that must be present in EVERY Jesus follower’s life? What is the invisible, yet undeniable, presence that determines whether or not someone/anyone is prepared to meet the Lord? The Holy Spirit!
When someone opens their heart and life to the will of the Father of Heaven’s Armies, as “proof” of their new relationship with the Lord Jesus, they are given the Holy Spirit. Paul writes in Romans 8:16: “For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (NLT) Without the Spirit’s verifying presence in our lives we can never enter God’s eternal home. We may look like a believer, on many levels we may act and speak like a believer, attend church, read our Bibles and even pray, but if the Holy Spirit doesn’t own our heart and life, we’re living a lie.
Satan is a liar who hates you and me; who’s whole point of existence is to deceive us by causing us to believe something, anything, except the truth that apart from Jesus we are nothing and can do nothing (John 15:5). If the “oil” in the lamp of your life is anything but God’s Holy Spirit (i.e. good works, religion, etc.), fall on your face and seek God’s forgiveness and the life-giving presence of His Spirit right now, before it’s eternally too late.
The truth is, no one, except the Father (God) of the Groom (Jesus) knows when that moment will come. But on the authority of Biblical Prophecy and the urging of the Holy Spirit in my life – He’s coming SOON!
Blessings, Ed 😊
(If I can answer questions or be of support, please let me know at email@example.com )
One thought on “Are You Ready for the Bridegroom?”
Very encouraging post yes we must stay awake because he will need to get us with him