Are You Ready?
When we read the parable of the Ten Virgins, which group do you see yourself in? The group that was ready? They had oil in their lamps and in reserve. That’s wise. And it’s how we like to see ourselves.
It is wise to consider what is different between the two groups – and what is not. This is not a comparison between believers and unbelievers—Jesus is talking to his church! There are two main comparisons between the believers.
- The wise were prepared for the long haul. They brought extra oil. The unwise weren’t ready for that. Jesus’ suggests that Judgment Day will take longer than we might think. “The bridegroom was delayed.” And “they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” The wise are ready for faithful perseverance. That means that we are ready for a lifetime of service and sacrifice, not a short ride on a wave of positive emotion.
- The wise went in to enjoy the banquet and the foolish were shut out. It reminds us of Jesus’ warning at the close of his Sermon on the Mount: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, … I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Mt. 7:21-23) The consequences of not being ready are enormous. It’s tragic when someone wanders from the faith and experiences the pain and frustration of sin. It’s epic disaster for anyone not be ready on Judgment Day!
Keep watch! Those words are laden with the love and concern of our Good Shepherd, who gave his life for us! “Keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”