I love parables. There are over 40 parables in the bible from Jesus in various lengths and meanings. Parables have a wealth of wisdom to help us understand God’s vision for his people. Most often they can be interpreted in a variety of ways. In Matthew 25 there are two parables. The parable of the Ten Virgins which we will review here and The Parable of the Talents which was discussed in a prior blog. Click here to read it. For now, here is the parable of the Ten Virgins Explained in full.
Bible parables and the Parable of the Ten Virgins Explained
The parable of the ten virgins has been debated a lot regarding the timing of Jesus’ return. However, we are not going to discuss that issue here. My goal is to share with you the parable of the ten virgins explained in various ways.
Most of the parables in the Bible have various meanings. One is based on the actual content, and the second has a deeper spiritual meaning. The last one is a practical meaning. We are going to explore all three as it pertains to the parable of the ten virgins. We will discuss the actual content that includes the five wise and the five foolish virgins. How it is critical to understand the importance of carrying additional oil, the delays that inevitably can occur, and the trouble of having to go back to get more oil. Secondly, the spiritual meaning of being prepared for the return of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Finally, the practical application of being ready for anything in our everyday life. Let’s start reading Matthew 25:1-13.
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish in the Parable of the ten virgins explained
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
Here the significance of oil in the parable of the ten virgins is explained. Based on the content ten virgins set out to meet the bridegroom. Five were foolish because they took their lamps but on extra oil. However, the other virgins were wise because in addition to their lamps they brought additional oil in a flask.
Hence, it was unwise not to bring extra oil to fill up their lamps. For you do not know how long the wait will be until you meet the bridegroom. Therefore, you could run out of oil leaving you unprepared should there be a delay. Thereby, running out of oil and leaving you in the dark. Remember, there were no street lights in those days to light your way.
Five were unprepared and five were prepared for the bridegroom which was Jesus. The prepared virgins are those who have surrendered to God and have been born again by accepting Jesus Christ. They follow the way laid out by Jesus in the Bible. Followers have died to themselves and have committed their spirit to God. They are followers of Jesus and they hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the wise virgins represent the church. They are also referred to as the Lord’s bride. Followers understand they are lost without the redemption of Jesus. Therefore, they have accepted that they are sinners. They have repented from their sins and have asked for forgiveness time and time again. Also, they are making every effort to sin no more as commanded by Jesus.
On the other hand, foolish virgins are Christians that are going through the motion. They may be part of the Christian community where they may or may not attend church, do good works, and/or tithe. Hence, non-followers may walk and talk like a follower of Jesus Christ, but their hearts are not in it. They are lost in all the doing but not hearing what God has asked them to do. Therefore, all is not right in their hearts, mind, body, and soul. They are not the bride of Christ but a guest at the party. Therefore, they can be stopped from entering the kingdom.
Living a life being wise vs. foolish requires us to live like Christ. We are to love God and to love others. Followers are to be good stewards of all that the Lord has provided. Therefore, allowing the fruit of the spirit to grow while allowing God to remove the bad branches and prune the good. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2 ESV.
It is a full commitment where you trust God with your all. You are to trust Him with your life, money, time, and talents knowing all good things come from above. Thereby, learning to say no to the ungodly and yes to the will of God. Believers are to Surrender to God, in all aspects of life. Hence, followers are reading their Bibles daily, praying, repenting, and asking for forgiveness. Consequentially, all these things go a long way to having a personal relationship with God.
The significance of the oil in the parable of the ten virgins explained
5As the bridegroom was delayed; they all became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’
Based on the content, as you would have it, the bridegroom was delayed. He came late in the night while the virgins slept. Therefore, most of the oil had been used up. Therefore, when he came those that had extra oil were okay. The foolish virgins who did not have any extra oil had to ask the wise virgins for some of their oil. However, there was not enough to share so they directed them to purchase from the dealer, as the parable of the ten virgins explained above.
There is a spiritual ramification of not being right with God because you never know when Jesus will return. Consequently, not being prepared means that you have an active separation from God. Therefore, you must take steps to make it right before the bridegroom returns. The bridegroom being Jesus. We must be reconciled to Jesus to be accepted as His sheep when He returns. The oil represents the light of life. The light of the holy spirit in us. Therefore, this same spirit works within us providing wisdom and God’s purpose for our life. The end goal is to be in paradise with God with Jesus as our King, our Lord, and Savior. We have about 70 years on this Earth to decide if we are living for Jesus or not. Thus, when Jesus returns, he is looking for his church. Will you be part of His eternal kingdom?
The practical application is to be ready for Jesus’s return. While we are living our lives, we have no idea when Jesus will return. We are called to die to our sin daily, or even hourly, or at the very moment of sinning. we have already made things right when we fix our eyes on Jesus while waiting on his return. There will be no need to return for more resources. We would have used our time, talent, and treasure to serve and glorify God as we are called to do. Ask yourself if you have used the resources that God provides to be prepared for his return. We should love God, and treat all our neighbors as we would want to be treated. We would have handled our money, our time, and our talents according to God’s plan for us.
The parable of the ten virgins explained the reasons for being prepared
10And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Based on the content, the bridegroom arrived. While the foolish virgins went to buy the additional oil needed, the wise virgins went on to the party. The doors were closed, and the foolish virgins were locked out. They were told that were not known to the bridegroom. Hence, they lost their opportunity to share in the festivities with the bridegroom upon his return. Finally, we are told to be watchful because we do not know the time when things will occur. Here, the parable of the ten virgins explained all the events that took place that evening into morning.
The spiritual ramification is not being prepared for Jesus you could mean being left outside His eternal kingdom. For the unrighteous, the time will run out for them to be with Jesus (the bridegroom). You are to accept the Lord in your life before your last breath. There will be no time to repent and receive salvation. For the righteous that remained faithful in their belief in Jesus’s redemptive power, they will live in paradise eternally. They would have spent their lives living for the Lord. A life that was filled with meditating on the Word, loving God, and others, and sharing all that they have to store up treasures in heaven. Hence, they spent their life trying, failing but always repenting and trying to walk in Jesus’s ways. Like David, they have a heart for God.
The practical application is each day we should live as if this is the day that Jesus will return. Our faith, hope, and trust are in Jesus’ return. Ergo, we should live as if we were to encounter Jesus, we would know His voice and He would know us. If Jesus was to come back at this very moment would you be prepared? I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:1
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Three moral lessons from the parable of the ten virgins explained
Righteous living requires us to love God and love our neighbors (anyone other than ourselves). We are called to live and walk by faith, hope, with trust in Jesus. Hence, all believers are to surrender their will to God for He loves us. We are to worship in the spirit and in truth. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
We are to be obedient to the voice of God for the purpose He has called us to do. Thereby, believers are to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit that dwells in each of us. We should be listening and following the voice of our helper sent by Jesus. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
We are called to be ready and prepared by accepting and believing that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Also, we should be worshiping and rejoicing in His grace and mercy. Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Rev 19:7
Finally, we must all realize that the coming of Jesus also includes judgment for those unprepared. Those that have not fostered a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior will find themselves left out of the kingdom and excluded from the presence of God.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy SpiritRomans 14:7
Love, peace, and joy,