Daily Reading: Exodus 37, 38; Matthew 25:1-30
“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13, NASB95)
The parable of the ten virgins has one main point: The timing of Christ’s return is unknown to man. He is so emphatic about this point (Matt. 3:36, 39, 42–44, 50; cf. Acts 1:6–7; 1 Thess. 5:2–6) because the disciples are eager to know, but this information is kept from them.
- In spite of warnings to be ready, Jesus knows that many will not be prepared for His coming, like the ten virgins. In a similar way, the head of the house did not know what time the thief was coming, and thus did not remain on the alert, allowing his house to be broken into (Matt 24:43).
- The foolish virgins assumed that the bridegroom would be coming back soon, and were not prepared for a long delay. Jesus tells them, therefore, to wait patiently for Him. Contrastingly, the evil slave assumed that His master would be long in coming, and began to beat His fellow slaves, and eat and drink with drunkards (Matt. 24:48-51). In both cases, whether unprepared for long or assuming a long delay, these people have disregarded Jesus’ words. The disciples are to remain on the alert.
- Jesus uses imagery that all generations are familiar with: a wedding. It’s to be a time of great anticipation and joy. Disciples don’t dread His coming, but they look forward to it. This contrasts to the five virgins who are not ready and end up being shut out. They are like tribes of the earth who will mourn at the Son’ of Man’s appearance (Matt. 25:30).
God doesn’t want to find us unprepared or for His coming to result in mourning. He desires it to be a time of rejoicing. However, how we live in this life while Jesus is away is a matter of our eternal consequence. Living right doesn’t save us, but it reveals the condition of our heart and whether we’ve truly received Him. Whether we live for Him or not begs the questions, “Do you really know Him?” and “Are you known by Him?”