Without a doubt Jesus was and still is The Master Teacher. His use of parables was just one of several factors that made Him a great teacher. Parables, however, can make a very sharp point, teaching so forcefully that the hearer cannot avoid the meaning of the lesson. One example, in Matthew 25:1-13, is the parable of the “Five Wise and Five Foolish Maidens.” Along with the parables of the “Talents” and the “Sheep and the Goats,” Jesus emphasized the need to be ready when He returns. Read the parable, then study with me the following major points:
“Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh!”
Just a short time before telling these parables, Jesus gave signs of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. However, there were to be no—repeat—no signs of His return, but the need for constant vigilance and preparedness for the time of His coming, Matthew 24:36f. The wedding feast noticed here was quite unlike weddings in American culture. There, the bridegroom brought the bride to the feast without giving any warning as to the time, so it was not unusual for some to be unprepared when he came. While we know Jesus is coming, we do not know either “the day or the hour of His coming.” When the trumpet sounds, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, it will be too late to make preparation. Five of those young maidens were ready; the other five were not.
Some Things Cannot Be Loaned or Borrowed
Five of the young virgins had not brought enough oil for their lamps and sought to borrow from others present. But the principle of Galatians 6:5, “Every man shall bear his own burden,” requires each person to make his/her own preparation. You cannot “borrow” another person’s integrity, Bible knowledge, wisdom, respect OR their preparedness to meet God in judgment. The old adage, “Every tub must sit on its own bottom” fits here as well. Romans 14:12 instructs us, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” I cannot stand in judgment in my children’s stead, nor can they stand in place of their children. Each of us must be ready.
Unfortunately, many are playing a form of eternal “Russian roulette” with their soul. I have heard some say, “I’m just going to live the best way I know how and take my chances with God’s mercy.” This parable, however, teaches us that God’s mercy and grace will not ignore one’s failure to prepare for Jesus’ coming. (continued)
Carl B. Garner
Copied from www.ds-churchofchrist.org/weekly_articles.html (Dripping Springs church of Christ)