“At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!”
Matthew 25:6, NIV
Jesus was a brilliant teacher. He both taught the truth and illustrated it with extraordinary parables and stories. In Matthew 24 He answers in His teaching the question put to Him by His disciples,“What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). In Matthew 24:44 He had stressed to His followers, “So, you also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” In Matthew 25 Jesus tells stories to illustrate some of the things He has been saying.
The parable of the wise and foolish virgins is one of those stories. Jesus told this story to illustrate the importance of being ready at all times – for one day He will return again, not this time hidden away in a remote stable in Bethlehem, but in great power and glory. He will be coming to take to Himself those who have come into His Kingdom as the ‘Bride of Christ’. The wise virgins were ready with oil in their lamps to enter the wedding banquet with the Bridegroom, but the foolish virgins were unprepared and while they went off to try and find some oil the Bridegroom came.
The whole essence of the story is to underline the fact that those who do not know Him will be excluded from the celebrations to be shared by those who have entered His Kingdom. It is a story which has not only kept the second coming at the forefront of believers’ thinking throughout Christian history, but has also underlined the importance of remaining faithful till the end of our lives. For none of us know either the day or the hour when the Bridegroom will return and, equally, none of us know either the day or the hour when our earthly days might come to an end, before Jesus comes again.
The world is now going through the most severe of challenges through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This has really focussed the attention of believers on matters of life, death and the second coming. Earlier this year I taught a series of weekly live-streamed messages available through the Ellel Ministries website. And not surprisingly, the one subject I was most asked for teaching on is the Second Coming! So, next Tuesday the 6th October I will be starting a new series on ‘Jesus, Healing and the Second Coming’ in response to these requests (watch out for an email later this week with more details).
We are living in the most uncertain of days – but the certainty of all that Jesus taught remains. We can utterly trust Him and know that if we are ready at all times, then we have nothing to fear. His arms of love remain open to welcome all who love and serve Him.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that all Your promises are faithful and true. And that one day You will be coming again. Help me, Lord, to be ready at all times to welcome Your return or for the day when You call me home. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.