Matt.25:1-4 – Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.
This parable was told by Jesus after a lengthy prophesy about the end of the age. He spoke of wars, pestilences, famines, natural calamities all apparently pointing to His Second Coming. He spoke passionately about being ready for His return, that was the whole point of this parable. Today, I want to give you my understanding of this parable. I believe the ten virgins represent the visible church on earth at the end of the age. Sadly, not everyone who would claim to be part of His church is ready for His return. Jesus said five were foolish and five were wise. Jesus is talking about spiritual preparedness, the wise individual would be alert, anxiously anticipating his Lord’s return. The foolish virgins had fallen asleep, uninterested in the coming of the Lord.
The lamps represent each one of us. Of course these lamps had to have oil in them or they would be worthless. Oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is coming back for His bride, not for the ten virgins but for those whose lamps are full of the Holy Spirit.
Now how can we understand this parable in light of the spiritual condition of the church today? If we are living at the end of the age then the present day church would be represented by the ten virgins. By all outward appearances the five foolish virgins looked just like the five wise virgins? What was the difference? Both were dressed for the wedding and they both had their lamps. The difference was not distinguishable by the natural eye, the only difference was the empty lamps of the foolish virgins. There was no oil in their lamps. Again, the oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit. A church without the oil is not a church at all.
What was the bridegroom’s response in the parable? He told the five foolish virgins He didn’t know them. Wow! Apparently the point of having oil in your lamp is connected to intimacy with the Lord. That’s the first work of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Jesus becomes precious to us, He becomes our first love. Those whose lamps are filled with oil have their hearts inflamed with His love. Keep the lamp of your heart trimmed and burning, the Bridegroom is at the door.