Journal Matt 25 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.”
But the wise answered, saying, “Since there will not be enough for us AND you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.”
And while they (the foolish) 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. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.”
But he answered, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.”
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matt 25:1-13
Observation: Context, context, context: Which am I—Wise or Foolish?
Analysis: I believe the context starts with describing the preparations of the ladies.
There are 10 ladies in total. 5 are described as wise. 5 are described as foolish. What makes them different from each other?
- All 10 were to meet the bridegroom.
- All 10 took lamps (I guess in case the bridegroom came after dark)
- 5 ladies took extra oil to fuel their lamps, and;
- 5 ladies did not, perhaps thinking their flame would last just long enough, or it didn’t matter whether their flame was lit when the bridegroom arrived.
My conclusion? The ladies described as foolish were because they assumed of being accepted by the bridegroom even though they did not prepare for his independent arrival.
Let me flip it: The 5 ladies described as “wise” appear to have been thorough in their preparations, even to the extent making sure their fire was fueled—they took no chance in being turned away due to a lack of fire.
Pressing in verses coasting in assumption. Pretty clear to me. All were prospective brides. Not all made the cut.
Reminds me of Jesus preaching in Matt 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. One that day many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord: did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then (Jesus) will declare to them: “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
Prayer: Persevere to the End. That is what you say to do, O Lord. And not with just determination not to be moved, but with a pursuit that is persistent all my days. I want to be an effective disciple.
Cause revival, AMEN