The ‘Portance of Proper Preparation
Jan. 26, 2020 - Jacob Prahlow
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“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25.1-13, NRSV)
Parable Principle #1: Pay attention to the literary context.
· Parables often have more to say than meets the eye.
· “Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know the day your Lord is coming…. Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” (Matthew 24.42, 44)
Parable Principle #2: Look for the expected…and the unexpected.
· Eschatology = study of the end
· “Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open [the door] to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’” (Matthew 25.11-12)
· Question: Are there going to be people who know Jesus who aren’t invited to His wedding party?
Parable Principle #3: Pay careful attention to the last line of the parable.
· “Keep awake, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25.13)
· Key Lesson: True faith requires faithfulness.
· If you’re not faithful, you may not make the wedding party.
· Means consistently following Jesus
· Involves not becoming apathetic about the end
· Does not mean perfection.
Jesus doesn’t need us to be perfect — He just wants us to be prepared! Are you prepared?