Read: Matthew 25:1-13
“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 the film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana and his father (among others) search the world for the mythical “Holy Grail.” The grail had been the object of a lifelong search for “Henry Jones” and in a closing climatic scene, one character chose wisely, the other did not and paid with his life.
In the passage above, Jesus provides another picture of those who were wise and others were foolish. I do not pretend to know a lot about Jewish wedding celebrations in the first century, but I read that it was common for the bridgegroom to leave his home and then arrive at the home of the bride where the ceremony would be completed (often at night) and then they would return to the bridegroom’s home to celebrate. Those details may help us understand the Jewish custom, but the real key here is found in the preparation of those ten virgins.
Five were prepared. Five were not. And not being prepared had its consequences.
In context, Jesus is speaking of much more than a wedding celebration. The virgins left on the outside looking in and longing to celebrate represent much more. He is speaking of something much bigger – His Return. Will we be ready? Are we prepared?