READ : Matthew 25:1-13
I almost left this story out of our study. It is so foreign to us and is apt to raise a lot of questions, none of which have anything to do with the truth it intends to teach. Maybe if we knew more about the customs of that day the story would be more believ- able. What has bothered me the most is the refusal of the five bridesmaids to share their oil with those who did not have enough. It doesn’t sound very Christ-like. Their attitude seems inexcusable. How are we to understand such behavior? The answer, I believe, is in understanding the purpose of the parable. The parable teaches that Jesus is coming to earth again. We do not know the day nor the hour. The oil is the spirit of eager and joyful anticipation with which each of us waits for the return of Christ. Once we understand this to be the oil, it becomes clear why it is something you cannot get from someone else at the moment of Christ’s return. You either have it or you don’t have it. Even your best friends can’t give it to you at that moment.
The parable calls us to an examination of our attitude toward the return of Jesus. Are we living in eager and joyful anticipation of that return or is it merely something to which we give lip service?
Father, fill me with the excitement of Christ’s return. In Jesus’ name. Amen.