Summary: This is a sermon to Christians and Non-Christians alike, for preparing for Jesus’s return.
Here Comes the Groom
We’ve all been to the weddings and saw the wedding parties come out and then the music gets loud and the wedding march starts playing to announce the coming of the bride. The groom has kind of slipped to the front of the church with the pastor and best man, not drawing to much attention. The bride is the one who makes the grand entrance, while the groom just waits to receive his bride.
In reference to this parable we must understand meaning of this parable to fully appreciate it. The church or Christians are the bride, and Christ is the Groom. So instead of singing, “Here comes the Bride”, we should be looking for the coming of the Groom. He is the one who will be making the grand appearance.
But to fully understand this parable, you must first look back to tradition of how a Jewish wedding was performed. First the parents played a major part in the choosing of the bride. Now like Samson did, the son could tell his parents who he wanted to marry, but it was the parents who would go with the son to ask for the permission to merry their daughter. The parents would dicker on the payment for the daughter and when an agreement occurred they were recognized as being married according to Jewish tradition. There was then a period of about a year that the husband would go and prepare the home. This would be what we consider the engagement time. The bride, though considered married, still lived at home with her parents and there was no physical contact. This was the stage that Mary and Joseph were in when Mary was conceived by the Holy Ghost with Jesus. Now you know why Joseph was going to as he put it, “Put her away secretly”. Then after everything was ready, the word went to the bride’s family that the groom was done with his preparation and was coming after his bride.
On that night the bride would have her brides maids go out into the streets and wait for her husband. There was not any street lights and they would have these torches that would light the way for the groom to come receive his wife and take her back to the place that he had prepared for her. When there, a big party would start taking place, and sometimes would last as much as seven days. This is where we get the tradition that the groom’s family pays for the reception. Can you imagine the bill for this seven-day party? Not to mention the honeymoon, or lack of a honeymoon with all the people over at the house.
The groom had made the payment for the bride, just as Christ had made the payment with His own life for His bride, the church. He had left to go prepare the place for him and his wife in the same way that Jesus states that He is preparing a place for His bride in John 14:2-3, In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
And just as the groom comes to receive his bride, Christ is coming again to receive His bride the church.
Now with all of this in mind, let’s get back to our parable.
As we read in our parable, there were 10 virgins with some similarities and some differences. Lets talk about them.
They all had the same job and they all fell asleep while waiting for the groom while he was delayed.
That reminds me of a story I heard about a young couple.
A young couple had met and had their first date set for a Friday night at 8:00pm. The girl didn’t know the guy well enough to know that he was constantly late for everything, so when 9:00pm came around she figured that she had been stood up. So, she took off her makeup, put on her pajamas and grabbed some junk food and plopped down on the couch for a night of TV. The doorbell rang and it was her date. He stared at her for a second, and said “ I’m almost 2 hours late and you’re still not ready”.
The parable didn’t explain why he was delayed. He couldn’t blame it on his wife making him late like most men do now days. All we know is that he was delayed.
Now if you were to look at these brides’ maids, I figure they were all dressed similar. They all had their lamps. They all fell a sleep. In appearance, it would have been hard to tell one from the other. Looks can be deceiving.