2009-11-10 - Ten Virigins
My Least Favorite Passages, Part 3
For many years, I was troubled by the parable about the ten virgins:
Matthew 25:1-10 (NASB) "Then the kingdom of Heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 "Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 "For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6 "But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' 7 "Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 "The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9 "But the prudent answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' yt "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.
I have always been a very "left-brained," literal-minded person, and when I used to read this passage, I would see five insensitive virgins that refused to help those in need. The "prudent" virgins would close up their hearts to the cries of the "foolish" ones. Was that fair? After all, haven't we all made foolish decisions in our lives, and didn't our Lord Christ teach us that those of us who "have" should share with those who "have not?" What about the "parable of the Good Samaritan," or other teachings of Jesus, that remind us to look out for our fellow man? To me, this seemed contradictory, and I was confused.
But now, I realize that I was "missing the point." First and foremost, the message God was trying to get through our "thick heads" was "BE READY!" And as with any passage of the Bible, it must be studied in the context of the entire word of God. When we do that, we see, of course, that indeed we are to help those in need. BUT they are to do their part to help themselves, as are we. And what we all have to do in this instance, is to repent of our sins, and "bet our lives" on Christ's generous sacrifice for us, so that we will not be shut out when the Bridegroom returns.