Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

The Parable of Ten Virgins

print Print  |  send Send to a friend  |  bookmark Bookmark  |   |   |  back Back

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments" (Psalm 119:105-106).

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has given us many parables, during the week leading to His death on the cross, to warn us and urge us to prepare for His second coming. We see that in the parable of the fig tree, the illustration of the two servants, and the parable of the talents, In the parable of the ten virgins we can see that illustration clearly.

"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom" (Matthew 25:1).

A beautiful picture of faithful virgins, prepared and waiting anxiously, to see their bridegroom coming. Not one of them looking different or lacking from anything. They are all dressed in their proper cloth for the wedding and all have a lamp filled with light. This picture allow us to see the children of God that are full of knowledge and understanding of God's law and plan for all of them.

"Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish" (Matthew 25:2).

On the outside they all looked alike, all go to the church, and all listen to the word of God. But this passage is telling us that on the inside not all of them are attentive and spiritually prepared to what is coming.

"Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamp" (Matthew 25:3-4).

The foolish virgins, like many people in the church, are satisfied with what they hear and know and with their outer look. They do not have the zeal of having their own intimate relationship with the Lord or they know but they do not have enough obedience to follow the law of God. Some will give little of their time and money to God out of their goodness. Sadly many others will want to do things their own way and in their own time and conditions.

But the wise virgins are like the people that they know how to have an everlasting relationship with God. They understand that they have to put a lot of efforts and prayers in order to acquire the amazing grace from God in their lives and many of the Holy Spirit gifts.

"But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept" (Matthew 25:5).

The word "delay" is an important key because if the bridegroom came right away, He would find the entire ten virgins prepared. But because, He was late, the foolish virgins they slumbered and slept (waiting on the Lord) from their laziness, ignorance and unwillingness to improve. But the wise virgins slumbered and slept (waiting on the Lord) like the beloved John by resting their head next to Jesus Christ's heart so they will continue to have love and intimacy with Him and allow the Holy Spirit to fill them up.

"And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'" (Matthew 25:6).

Our Lord Jesus Christ will send us many signs before His second coming. He is extremely fair and full of mercy and will work with each one of us through His grace to prepare us and equip us through life's challenges for what is coming ahead. It is our choice to do our part which is to dedicate our lives to Him and repent or to refuse to listen and become unfaithful.

"Then all those virgins arose 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, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:7-10).

It is a very sad ending to those who waited unprepared. God gives them His Holy Spirit to grow and multiply in their heart but instead they choose the wrong road. They did not think about their future yet. Instead they thought that they had enough spirituality to walk in the world without fear of stumbling or thought if they can try to associate themselves with those who seem righteous that this will assure them of being in right stand with God. Unfortunately we cannot borrow a relationship with God from others; we must acquire it ourselves and pray for it.

"Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming" (Matthew 25:11-13).

"Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you." (Matthew 25:12). Please do not wait until it is too late. Instead be ready at all times, by repenting and walking in His way, dedicating yourself to the word of God, and following His law in your life. Pray and ask for His Holy Spirit to guide you in your life and His grace to cover you until you reach eternity with Him.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

print Print  |  send Send to a friend  |  bookmark Bookmark  |   |   |  back Back