1 “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
7 All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
9 But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
10 But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
12 But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
13 So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.
This parable reiterates what Jesus has been saying since chapter 23. Instead of looking for signs and engaging in religious manipulation, Jesus’ followers are to wait for his coming. Waiting for Jesus is a fundamental activity of his followers, waiting should inform all our thought and action. But we don’t just wait in the dark. We wait with our lamps lit, burning bright with the oil of the Holy Spirit. We will see tomorrow and Wednesday what else we are to be doing during the waiting, but the first and foremost thing is always waiting for Jesus with our lights shining – illuminating Jesus to the world. Spend some time today thinking about what it means to be in a posture of waiting on Jesus and how the Spirit empowers that waiting. Feel free to share your thoughts here.
The New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.