Summary: Parable of the ten virgins was one of waiting for the bridegroom as we are awaiting for Christ.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE COMING OF THE BRIDEGROOM?
I. THE ANTICIPATION OF THE GROUP-- THE BRIDEGROOM.
1.) Rather than the bride, they were waiting for the Bridegroom.
A.) This is very much foreign to us today.
aa.) In our day and culture, the focus of the wedding is on the bride.
ab.) In the Old Jewish customs is was just the opposite, with everyone in waiting for the bridegroom.
2.) To understand this parable we need to look a bit at the Jewish wedding. There were twelve steps in a Jewish wedding:
1.) The Selection of The Bride.
A.) Usually brides were chosen by the father of the bridegroom.
B.) He would meet with the father of the potential bride and go from there.
2.) The Price of the bride.
A.) Once it had been agreed upon that the two would be united in marriage a price would have to be determined for the bride. (Dowry)
B.) This price was to compensate the bride’s father for the loss of a worker, and also to show how highly the groom valued the bride.
3.) The Betrothal or Ketubah
A.) The betrothal or Ketubah is much like our engagement today but more serious and binding.
B.) In this Ketubah they would enter into a binding covenant sealed in blood and legally binding.
ba.) At this point the couple was legally married except for sexual relations.
bb.) This Ketubah would usually last about a year.
bb-1.) The reason for this time period was to insure that the bride had been pure, and not pregnant.
bc.) At this marriage ceremony a legal contract or Ketubah would be presented to the Father of the Bride.
bd.) This was an important document that the bride would hang onto and cherish because it contained the promises of the bridegroom to the bride and his love for her.
4.) The Bride’s Consent.
A.) Even though it was a pre-arranged marriage, the bride had to give her consent.
aa.) Gen. 24:57-58
5.) The Cup of The Covenant.
A.) In giving her consent to the marriage the bride would do it through taking a cup of wine offered from the hand of her prospective husband.
B.) Surprisingly, the Lord’s Supper is where we see this today.
ba.) Luke 22:20 “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
bb.) We have always thought of these words as originating with Jesus, and only in reference to the Lord’s Supper.
bc.) In reality, they were common words to the Jewish audience, but words from the marriage ceremony.
bd.) The bridegroom would hold up a glass of wine to his future wife and say to her: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
be.) If the bride accepted the wedding proposal she would take the cup of wine and drink it.
C.) When Jesus said those words as he held up that glass of wine he was saying to the disciples, and to you and I will you be the bride of Christ?”
6.)The Gifts For The Bride.
A.) A sixth part of the wedding was the giving of gifts.
B.) The Bridegroom would give special gifts to his bride that were usually of value such as some precious coins) to remind her of his love for her.
C.) Similar in idea to the engagement ring that would be given today.
7.) What was called the “Mikvah”
A.) This was a pool of living water where the bride would bathe in a ritual purification to get ready to meet the bridegroom.
B.) This Mikvah represents a separation from her old life, and a dedication to the new one with her husband.
8.) The departure of the Groom.
A.) Once the marriage covenant was sealed, the bridegroom would leave the bride and go to prepare a room either in his father’s house for her, or else his own home if he was that fortunate at that time.
aa.) He might be gone as much as 12 months before his return.
B.) John 14:2-3
9.) The Consecrated Bride.
A.) The bride would wait and be faithfully waiting for her husband to come and take her to be with Him.
B.) In this parable we are looking at, that is the scene; it is nearing the time when the bridegroom would come for the bride after this going to prepare a place for her.
10.) The return of the Bridegroom.
A.) Jewish bridegrooms would usually come late at night for their brides, (as in this parable near to the Mid-night hour).
B.) When the bridegroom was coming the Shofar would be sounded and that would signal that the wait was done, the bridegroom had come.