February 28: Ready or Not? (Matthew 25:1-13)
This Sunday Daniel Harman will continue the series Living as a Church at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament book of Exodus).
“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.
In this last discourse, Jesus speaks for a final time on the kingdom of heaven. Over the last chapter, he has warned is disciples about his sudden, irreversible and unexpected return to set up his kingdom and bring a people to himself. He has warned us to not be surprised like the people of Noah’s day and to not be unaware like the homeowner sleeping while a thief looks to plunder and to not be faithless like the servant who was disobedient while his master was away. But now, in the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus warns us to not be like the foolish virgins who did not prepare for a delay in his return but rather to be wise and prepared for a delay before we enter the feast and celebrate the great and glorious work of Jesus in redeeming and rescuing us. This day of his return is the day where all of God’s plans for rescuing his creation will come to fullness. It will be the day of days that his church longs for.
Review and Apply
1. How does Jesus warn us that the community of Christ is mixed with true faith and false faith? How does this encourage faithful church membership?
2. How can one confirm his/her faith? How can others help?
3. In what ways are you making good use of the delay in Jesus’ return? What issues distract you most?
4. How does a wedding feast describe our reunion with Jesus? How can we better dwell upon this?
5. What does the ‘door was shut’ indicate about this time?
6. How should this reality challenge the way we think about those around us?
7. How does this passage call you to change?