Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Ashley feels ecstatic when the results are announced. She has won third place in the essay writing contest in her school thus enabling her to enter the national competition next month. Both of her best friends, Julie and Lisa are first and second respectively.

“Hey! Julie! Congrats for being the champion! You are the best!” Ashley grabs her shoulders. “You did well too, Ash,” Julie grins. Lisa holds her second placed trophy high up as she meets them standing at the foyer and they celebrate noisily.

“You know what, since we are in this together, I suggest we meet to study together. Let’s do this for our school, Ok?” Lisa proffers. Julie agrees wholeheartedly. “If I can find time to study like you girls,” Ashley shrugs. “Yes, you can! All it takes is a little focus,” Lisa retorts.

Ashley has been inconsistent these couple of months in school as she hangs out with some wild school mates. Julie and Lisa have taken time to advice her against spending too much time on outside school activities but to no avail. They know she is a smart girl. And her third prize win proves them right.

Ten days to the Competition…

“I wonder where is Ash?” Julie looks concern. Ashley had joined them for their first meeting and since disappeared from their sight. Maybe she likes doing it alone,” Lisa chips in. She then takes out her phone and calls Ashley. “Yeah,” the faint voice on the other line answers. “Ashley, it’s only ten more days to competition. Will you join us?” Lisa requests. “I am very tired. I’ll call you back,” Ashley replies annoyingly. The line goes dead. “How?” Julie asks. “I think she slept late last night. Anyway, we have to do what is best for us,” Lisa shrugs and takes up a reference book.

Two Days to the Competition…

“Hi! Ashley, you don’t look so good,” Lisa confronts her. “I don’t feel so well. Anyway, do you girls still have those meetings together? I think I need to brush up my skills,” Ashley asks, somewhat desperate. “I don’t think so. We have done everything we need to be prepared for. Moreover, there were so many discussions already covered,” Lisa answers unapologetically. “Oh. Can you and Julie help me? I don’t want to lose this opportunity,” Ashley begs. “I am sorry, Ash. We have some other works we need to finish as well. I want to help but time is not on our side now,” Lisa replies annoyingly. Ashley senses her heart beating a little quicker than usual. She quickly rushes to the library without saying goodbye to her best friend, Lisa.

Competition Day…

Ashley finds that desperation doesn’t help her in this competition. In fact, she knows she does not stand a chance in winning any prize. She has secretly wished she could at least win $2,000 third prize money to help her through college. The three friends decide to meet at the cafeteria for a drink after the submission.

“Wow! I am so excited about the competition! The school has announced a special prize if anyone from here wins the top-three place, apart from the prize money!” Julie exclaims confidently. “What’s that? What’s that?” Lisa yells delightedly. “There is going to be a big party organised for the winners and…and…a full scholarship for any college we choose to go!” Julie jumps up and dances.
As expected, Julie wins the first prize for the National Championship and her friend, Lisa, comes in second. “Let the party begin,” Julie screams. As they celebrate joyously, they see Ashley standing outside the hall. A sad look on her face says it all. She knows that she has missed it, this great opportunity that will not come knocking at her door, again.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is found in Matthew 25:1-13.

After strong verbal rebukes at the teachers of the law and the Pharisees (Matt. 23), Jesus now turns his attention again to His disciples. He knows his time on earth is nearing the end, begins to tell the disciples the end of the age. The audience must have been enthralled with such details of the future. As with all God's prophets, Jesus will not only deliver information, He offers sound godly advice.

Two words stand out at this hour of His teachings, “Keep Watch!”

Everyone must keep watch during the soon coming of the LORD Jesus Christ again. This time, the LORD is coming with God’s wrath! What troubles the listeners is the uncertainty of the timing of His coming. Therefore, Jesus warns them to take heed of the signs of the times!

In this parable, Jesus adds the phrase, “At that time” (Matt. 25:1). It tells about the soon consummation of the rule of God in His kingdom. There will be two groups of people on the opposite extreme in this story. One group rejoices rapturously, participating in the most marvellous wedding celebration. The other, locked out in darkness, knowing and hearing the celebration but unable to enter. No wonder there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. In fact, Jesus warns of intense suffering for all those who reject the coming of their Master (Matt. 24:51).

The foolish virgins represent one side of humanity who knows the wrath of God is coming but chooses to live carelessly in the world. They know that they haven’t got enough oil for their lamps but still they are asleep like those who have the oil (Matt. 25:3-5).

The virgins are usually friends of the Bride and Groom in wedding ceremonies in ancient Palestine. When the Bridegroom comes to fetch the Bride to go to his parents’ house at night, these chosen girls joyously play the guiding lights for them. And they become participants in the grand wedding. The Bridegroom will be very happy for them, thus inviting them for the grand celebration! Perhaps, rewarding them for their effort, anticipation and passion! The wise virgins create even greater joy in the celebration.

The foolish virgins deserve nothing from him. They were invited to participate but did not keep their part of the bargain. Due to their foolishness, there may not be enough lights for more people to walk to the house of the Groom's parents. Some may even lose their way. When they finally get their oil for their lamps, they are refused into the celebration. Their lack of enthusiasm for the Bridegroom’s coming speaks about their relationship with him. They show disrespect on his big day, a once-in-a-lifetime occasion (Matt. 25:11-12).

The main reason people take for granted the Lord’s Second Coming is not the delay in His coming but their lack of enthusiasm in the Person of Jesus! If the wonderful promises of Jesus and the miraculous signs and wonders He performed still not do the work with these foolish people, nothing will. However, in this parable, Jesus is concerned for all His disciples, in every generation, that they do not fall away.

Whether there is a delay, distraction or deception...
Keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour (Matt. 24:13).

NOTE: There were debates in regards to the identity of the 10 virgins. Some say they are the tribulations saints at the Second Coming of Christ as the next two parables in Matthew (Rapture would have already taken place by then). My interpretation is that Jesus would want everyone to be prepared, either the rapture of the church or His second Coming. The oil that the foolish virgins should have been carried along can also represent  the Holy Spirit (which is quite consistent in the Bible). If that is so, then the five foolish virgins may represent those who have heard about Christ but unregenerated at the heart. Judging at their same appearance as the five wise virgins, they might even  call themselves Christians. These are the ones Paul wrote, "..having a form of godliness, but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:5).

Next: The Parable of the Talents


  1. I've heard it said that too many Christians look forward to the rapture for the opportunity to escape rather than to be with the One where they're going.

    It will be a wonderful thing to see Jesus. I cannot imagine the joy of His face. But He's also right here, right now.

  2. It is true! I know of people who told me they are tired of life and could not wait for the rapture to happen. The thing is we are going to heaven not primarily to R & R but more to do reporting to our Master! I dread to meet Jesus when I know I did not avail much for Him when opportunities present themselves in this life!

  3. I have been searching post liked this and my favorite perspective on the ten virgins so far is http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/converted-unto-the-lord?lang=eng

  4. Thanks for visiting and recommendation.