Read Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the Ten Virgins. What is Jesus saying here that should help us understand how we can be prepared for His return?
Jesus starts this phase of His discourse by talking about ten virgins. To be called “virgins” suggested they represented those who professed to be Christians. They were not on Satan’s side of the controversy. They are likened to the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 25:1) . But in the end time, they all slept (Matt. 25:5) . Christ had already warned about keeping watch (Matt. 24:42) , or staying awake so they would not be unready when He returns.
All ten virgins had lamps, and all went out to meet the bridegroom, which means that they were all looking forward to His coming. There was a delay, and all of these believers in His coming fell asleep. Suddenly, in the dead of night, they all were awakened: the bridegroom was coming (Matt. 25:1-6) .
The foolish virgins were startled, unprepared. Why? One version says “our lamps are gone out” (Matt. 25:8) . Other versions, true to the Greek original, say the lamps are “going out.” There was still a flickering flame. They still had a little oil, but not enough to be prepared to meet Christ.
What, then, is the problem?
These virgins represent Christians who are waiting for Christ to return but who have a superficial experience with Him. They have some oil, some working of the Spirit in their lives, but it is merely flickering; they were satisfied with little when they needed much.
“The Spirit works upon man’s heart, according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature; but the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. Their service to God degenerates into a form.” — Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons , p. 411.
|What are ways we can look at ourselves and make sure we aren’t making the same mistakes as these people did? If we see ourselves in this role, how can we change?|