Title: Why were the five foolish virgins rejected?
Plot: A review of the parable of the ten virgins
Notes: There is a crucial prayer in this review you won’t want to miss!
Listen to "Why were the five foolish virgins rejected?" on Spreaker.
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Have you ever wondered:
- What does the parable of the ten virgins mean?
- Why were five of them referred to as foolish and rejected?
- What is this about?
- And how can I avoid the fate of these five?
Matthew 25:1-13 says:
“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 for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they 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.
Now given that there were ten women and ten lamps between them all this story could have gone many different directions. The wise virgins could have said, "pour what's left of your oil into my lamp, leave yours here and take my hand." And then suddenly we've heard a parable about wisdom, cooperation, generosity, teamwork and kindness. But that's not how it happened. So apparently God is conveying a different message. What is it?
You get the sense that the five wise virgins were acting a little selfishly. After all, they could have told the bridegroom that five more were coming and asked him to wait. The fact that they didn't implies that they wanted the bridegroom for themselves, or they didn't view him as a man of patience or one to be negotiated with. Or maybe they did tell him and he refused to wait. That part of the story is unknown to us.
We also learn that when the foolish virgins return, the bridegroom doesn't open the door to them. So he obviously doesn't care about numbers and this also is not a parable about purity because all ten of the women were virgins. That means they showed loyalty, restraint, self control, and discipline for their whole lifetime up to this point.
But also this could communicate that he wants respect. Had the five foolish virgins feared him and respected him, they would know not to keep him waiting and they would have planned accordingly. Had they had the proper fear and respect for the man, they would have planned ahead considering everything that could go wrong and dealing with it in advance. We could surmise that what he cares about is availability and promptness. But all of these ideas seem like guesses. How can we know these educated guesses have merrit? Well, because, I suspect there is a connection between the parable of the ten virgins and
The Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22, which says:
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
So that's kind of fascinating because you get the impression that the story began with the 10 virgins and then continued with this parable of the wedding feast. Ya know, it almost suggests that if all you do is read the parable of the 10 virgins then the perspective you have is that of the 5 foolish ones. Because it leaves you wondering what's happening on the other side of that door? But when you introduce this second parable, you now take on the perspective of the 5 wise virgins. Meaning that you get to see what happened after the door was shut. And you get insight not only into the nature of the bridegroom, but also what his dad is like.
These two parables are painting a picture about the nature of God the father and his son Jesus Christ. And that's a useful confirmation that our guesses up to this point are right. Therefore, God is demanding our purity, our fear, our respect, he wants us to have our affairs in order so that when we are called, we are available immediately. Meaning that if you see the bridegroom coming and you realize you left your purse at home, you probably better leave it. Let it go. It's not that important. It's not a good idea to keep the bridegroom waiting. Because as we learned from the parable of the ten virigins. Dilly dallying will get you left behnd:
When the bridegroom came he took the virgins who were available and he rejected those who showed up late.
The story itself reveals that the five foolish virgins weren't so foolish as they were unprepared. Because the story begins giving us the impression that the 10 women had no idea where the bridegroom was or when he was coming. And it ends with the five foolish virgins actually locating his door and knocking on it. We don't know if they followed the footprints or how they solved the mystery, but we do know it was a mystery because had the women known where the man lived. They wouldn't have walked half the distance to his house and then nodded off. They would have brought enough oil and gone there and knocked on his door to begin with. And so the fact that these five foolish virgins located the door tells us they weren't so dumb. They just lacked the fear, respect, and the planning skills to be successful. They didn't have their affairs in order so that when he surprised them, they were ready. Meaning they weren't respecting him by taking him seriously.
So how do we take God seriously? And how do we get our affairs in order?
Well, there are clues in these parables. A big one is that we don't want to be the only person at the wedding supper not wearing proper clothes. And so we should be praying for that. First I'll remind you of the reference and then I'll point you to another Scripture that proves this.
In the Parable of the Wedding Feast it said: ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness.
And so what must we do to have such a garment? We are supposed to pray for it. Revelation 3:18 says,
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
The issue with the five foolish virgins is that they failed to take the bridegroom seriously. They didn't know him well enough revealing that they were sloppy and unprepared.
And so truly it becomes obvious that this story is about preparation. The wise virgins had a sense for who the man was and what he cared about. He demanded their fear and respect, and they knew it. He wanted their purity, promptness and preparedness. And so sharing this parable is an act of grace.
Because the church is the bride of Christ and the message we get here is that we are each responsible for our own condition.
The Bible says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Whenever I stumble on Scriptures like this. I wonder why didn't anyone tell me? Meaning I act like a foolish virgin who is expecting to receive help from the wise ones. It is up to me, it is my responsibility to prepare myself. Meaning I must do my own research, take my own notes, and walk my own walk. I shouldn't expect others to do this for me, it's my responsibility.
You can educate yourself by listening to my podcasts, taking notes and remembering to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling bearing in mind the work, the learning and actions are your responsibility. But I am here to help you as much as I can by calling out the things you should be noticing.
We should not expect to get in based on teamwork, generosity, kindness and the preparedness of others, but that doesn't mean we can't walk together.
We are held to an individual standard. We won't get in simply because we know someone who knows Jesus. We must know Jesus ourselves. We'll get in because we've purified ourselves, we've done our homework, we translated our learning into note taking and action.
And so be encouraged. Because knowing is half the battle. Now you know. Knowing might make you worry, but not knowing would be worse. So update your prayers asking for white garments to cover your nakedness and wedding garments for the wedding feast. And be sure to tune into my next message called How to make your reservation for the rapture. You'll want to check that one out so you don't get left behind.
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Y'all come back now. Ya hear?