The Scriptorium

The Foolish Virgins

Foolish, because not ready. Matthew 25.10-13

Matthew 25: Wise and Foolish (2)

Pray Psalm 53. 5,6.
There they are in great fear
Where no fear was,
For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you;
You have put them to shame,
Because God has despised them.
Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When God brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

Sing Psalm 53.5, 6.
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
The wicked flee in shame; their ways our God rejects.
Renew Your people in Your Name with great effects!
Let great rejoicing sound once we renewed have been,
And let salvation’s Word resound from us again!

Read Matthew 25.1-13; meditate on verses 10-13.

1. What happened to the virgins who were not ready for the bridegroom’s return?

2. What lesson did Jesus teach from this parable?

Why didn’t the foolish virgins prepare? We can only speculate. But this much seems clear: They were not sufficiently eager for the bridegroom’s arrival to take the necessary steps to be ready to meet him. They went too late to buy more oil for their lamps (v. 10). When they finally arrived for the wedding, “the door was shut.”

And that was that. When they appealed for admission, the bridegroom disavowed any knowledge of them whatsoever.

Jesus applied this parable to His return, again, emphasizing the importance of being ready by being good stewards, wise servants, and virgins ready for His coming. The idea of virginity is frequently applied in Scripture to those who have no mixed motives or divided affections in their love for the Lord. Indeed, Jesus revealed that only such virgins will finally have a place in His Kingdom (Rev. 14.1-5). The foolish virgins may have been virgins in the flesh, but their hearts were not fully engaged with the promise of the bridegroom’s coming. And where Jesus is concerned, the heart is the heart of the matter. When the bridegroom showed up unexpectedly, their distractedness – often considered in the Old Testament as a form of adultery – was their downfall.

Jesus is coming again. Do we look forward to this with such a sense of eagerness and preparation, that our hearts are pure and undistracted in fulfilling the calling He has appointed to us? Are we ready to join Him at the marriage feast of the Lamb (Rev. 19), or will we still be trying to get our act together when He comes?

Put another way, with respect to the Lord’s return, are we wise and ready, or distracted and foolish?

1. What does it mean to “love the Lord’s appearing” (2 Tim. 4.8)?

2. How should we prepare each day for the possibility of the Lord’s return?

3. How can believers help one another to keep from being distracted from loving Jesus and preparing for His return?

At length it follows that the door of the heavenly kingdom will be shut against all who have not made provision, because they failed in the middle of the course. We must not enter here into minute inquiries, how it is that Christ says that the foolish virgins WENT TO BUY for it means nothing else than that all who shall not be ready at the very moment when they shall be called will be shut out from entering into heaven.
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Matthew 25.10

I’m looking at the day ahead, Lord, and I ask You to help me be a good steward of my calling so that I…

Pray Psalm 53.1-5.
Pray for the lost people of the world, especially those in your Personal Mission Field. Ask the Lord to give you an opportunity to talk about His salvation today.

Sing Psalm 53.1-5.
Psalm 53.1-5 (Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God at all!”
Corrupt are they in whole and part, unjust and small.
Not one of them does good; God sees their wicked ways.
None understands the Word of God or gives Him praise.

Have all these wicked men no knowledge of God’s grace?
The Church they hate with passion and seek not God’s face.
Lord, strike their hearts with fear, where fear was not before.
And scatter all who camp so near Your holy door.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore