In this chapter, we see two parables on what Jesus was just talking about, watching for his return and also doing the things he’s asked us to do until he comes.
In this first parable, I think it’s easy to try to over-interpret each facet of the parable, and I think we can get into trouble trying to do so.
The main point, again, is that we are to watch and be ready for when Jesus comes back, because he will come back when we don’t expect it.
That’s what happened with these bridesmaids. The bridegroom had gone to the bride’s house and was due to return to his home for the wedding banquet, and so everyone was waiting for his return. But for some reason, it took more time than they expected, and so when the bridegroom finally came, they were fast asleep. Awakened from their slumber, the bridesmaids quickly realized that their lamps were going out, and needed more oil. Five of the them were ready for such a situation, and quickly refilled their lamps. The other five, however, were not ready and as a result, had to go out and buy more oil and by the time they came back, the doors were shut and they could not enter.
The point? Some thought they were ready and were not, while others were truly ready for the bridesgroom’s return. Those who were ready were able to join the banquet, while the rest were shut out.
Many Jews will be like this when Jesus finally returns. They have been yearning for the Messiah for so long. And some will be ready; they will have already acknowledged Jesus as Messiah, been filled with his Spirit, and be ready to enter the kingdom when Jesus comes. But others, though they claim to be waiting for the Messiah, are not ready. And they will find that out when Jesus returns. That the Messiah they’d been waiting for had been Jesus all along. But when they find out, it will be too late, and they will be locked out of his kingdom.
But the same can be said of the rest of us. Many people claim to be Christians, but have never truly received him as Lord and Savior. Rather, they merely have the “form of godliness but deny its power.” (II Timothy 3:5) They claim to follow Christ, but in their hearts, merely live for themselves. And when Jesus returns, they’ll realize that they are not ready for his return, and will find themselves locked out of his kingdom.
How about you? Are you ready for when Jesus returns? There is only one way. The apostle Paul wrote,
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
Are you ready for our Lord’s return?