Abiding Treasure- Don't Get Shut Out by Bryan Craig
“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. Matthew 25:1-13
This parable keeps coming up in front me in different ways, and I believe God is telling me something. Jesus is talking about Heaven. This is obviously important. The ultimate question in every person’s mind, at some point, is “Will I go to Heaven when I die?” For some, maybe they are not sure Heaven exists. If we care what Jesus has to say about it, it definitely exists! In other places in Scripture, Jesus is called the Bridegroom, and we are the Bride of Christ. In this parable, some translations call the 10 virgins “Bridesmaids”. So, this parable is all about going to meet Jesus. Five were called “wise” and five were called “foolish”.
None of them knew when the time would come to meet Jesus. That time came unexpectedly. They all thought they were ready because they had their lamps and their wicks trimmed. However, only 5 had oil for their lamps to let their light shine. The other 5 were not allowed to take oil from the 5 wise virgins. The 5 foolish virgins had to go to “dealers” to get some oil. The 5 wise ones were allowed into the Marriage Feast. When the 5 foolish ones came back, the door was shut. It was TOO LATE. Jesus said these scary words, “I do not know you.”
Jesus is saying, first of all, that Heaven is real, and that it could be compared to a Marriage. It is a marriage between us and Jesus. We will be united with Him for eternity. It is the goal of our faith. It is interesting to me that both the wise and foolish ones had their lamps, but only 5 had oil. I believe oil represents the Holy Spirit, who fills the lives of believers and gives us Light. When we receive Jesus as Lord, we receive His Spirit. I think some people think they are Christians just because they go to church, or because their parents are Christian or because they are good people. Just like the foolish virgins, they are going to “dealers” to get oil, when they need to go to God, through Jesus! How often do people look everywhere for the answers to life, except simply coming to Jesus?
We need Jesus and His Spirit to get to Heaven. If we don’t receive Jesus as Lord and receive His Spirit, we DON’T KNOW JESUS! If the time comes before we make that decision, the door will be shut and it will be too late. The time could be when we die (and no one knows when that will be) or if Jesus returns before we die.
This makes me want to be ever more bold in sharing Jesus with those I love and those God brings across my path. And it’s not just about knowing who He is, but it’s about KNOWING HIM!
Lord, Jesus, thank You for the invitation to join you at the Marriage Feast, but more than that, to be united with you forever. Thank you for giving us Your Spirit to give us tangible proof that we know You and also so that we will be a Light to others. Lord, please use me to help others find the Oil they need to fill their empty lamps.