Be Prepared

Eyewitness: pp. 212,213
Eyewitness Stories: Matthew 25:1-13
NLT: Matthew 25:1-13
In Your Bible: Matthew 25: 1-13; Ephesians 5:18

The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids (five wise and five foolish) tells us to be ready to greet the bridegroom. Jesus warns us, “ . . . you should always be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return” (Matthew 25:13 Eyewitness Stories). Yes, be prepared for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Old Jewish Custom

Bible commentators* explain this wedding custom. Days before the marriage, friends and family gathered at the bride’s home waiting with anticipation the groom’s arrival. The bridesmaids would even go into the streets, waiting. At night they would need oil lamps.

When the groom did arrive, it was often late at night. He would send a messenger to announce his coming. Then only the bridesmaids who prepared extra oil to refill their lamps could go into the dark to meet the bridegroom.

Oil of the Believer

The bridesmaids heard a shout at midnight, “Look the bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him” (Matthew 25:6 NLT). Jesus praises the wisdom of the five bridesmaids who had extra oil to refill their lamps – they were ready.

This parable refers to the believers’ readiness – constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Be wise and let the Holy Spirit guide you, as you anticipate his coming. Yes, be prepared for the Kingdom of Heaven.

* The Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of Matthew Vol 2, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1958, Wm Barclay pp. 319-321.

Prayer: Father, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit. Remind me to always be prepared for Jesus’ return.

Questions: What are you doing to prepare yourself for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you anticipate his return? Are you ready?

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