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Redeeming the Time - Part 5

FIVE SINNERS            Page 3
V. 1 (Cont'd.)

At the end of the feast period, a close friend of the groom (the best man) would take the hand of the bride and place it in the hand of the groom, and the couple would for the first time be left alone together. The marriage would be consummated and the couple would live together in their new home from that time forward. It was this third part of the marriage rite that Jesus used as the framework for this parable.

** Remembering now that the Lord has been describing the signs of His second coming, Jesus uses this parable to compare one's spiritual preparedness for entrance into the kingdom of heaven with the preparedness of a certain ten virgins who served as bridesmaids at a wedding. What did all ten of these bridesmaids do in concert with each other?

They "went out to meet the bridegroom". As the little procession came to the bride's home, they all went out to join it.

** What were they all carrying?

Their own "lamps". [lampas] - tightly wrapped cloths attached to long poles. cf. John 18:3

V. 2 ** Well, so far so good, but what rather stark contrast can been seen between the two groups of five virgins?

"...five of them were foolish, and five were prudent." This is not merely a contrast between
air-heads and smart folk, it is far more serious than that, as we shall see!

V. 3 ** These ten bridesmaids represent professing Christians who claim to love the prospect of Christ's appearing and who demonstrate outward readiness for entrance into His kingdom. (cf. 2Timothy 4:8)

In their outward appearance the ten were indistinguishable. They were all dressed appropriately and each had their own torch to carry in the procession. What was the difference? What made the foolish one's so foolish?

"...they took no oil with them..." Their torches looked exactly those of the others, but with no oil they had nothing with which to make them burn. A torch without fuel was obviously worthless, and a profession of faith in Jesus without a saving relationship to Him is infinitely more worthless.

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