Are You Ready?

Read: Matthew 25:1-13

The wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. (v. 4)

Jewish weddings in the first century were celebrations for the whole community. At one point, the groom would come at night to the bride’s house to bring her to their new home. It was the bridesmaids’ job to meet the groom and escort the bride, carrying torches to light the way. These bridesmaids knew the groom would come, but not exactly when. They had to be ready to light their torcheswhenever the announcement came. To be unprepared would have deeply insulted both the bride and the groom.

The difference between the wise and foolish virgins in the parable was not that they fell asleep but that one was prepared and the other was not. The foolish assumed the wait wouldn’t be long, so they just had to bring their lamps. The wise knew the bridegroom might be delayed, so they were prepared with enough oil.

There will be a wedding at the end of all things. At that point, it’ll be too late to get ready, too late for repentance and faith. When the virgins fell asleep, they were either ready for the bridegroom to come or not. At his coming, it was too late. For the foolish, the door was shut and they heard, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you” (v. 12). When we die, we must be ready. When the dead are raised at the last day, it will be too late to go looking for oil, too late to turn to God in repentance and faith. Are you ready?

As you pray, ask Jesus to make you ready and eager for his return.

About the Author

Stephen Shaffer is the pastor at Bethel Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario.

This entry is part 11 of 31 in the series Looking to Jesus