Summary: It is easier to SAY you are prepared for the return of Christ Jesus than it is to LIVE prepared.
Matthew 25: 1 – 12 / Prepared!
Intro: The story is told of a photographer who was also a skydiver. He jumped from a plane along with several friends and filmed the group as the each dove out of the plane and opened their parachutes. The cameraman jumped out of the plan enjoying himself and was absorbed in what he was doing. It wasn’t until he reached for the ripcord that he realized one very important detail. He was free-falling without a parachute. He was unprepared for the jump. He was not inexperienced having done this sort of thing repeatedly for years. But, this one time, he forgot to buckle on the parachute. Nothing could save him. It was too late.
I. This parable of Jesus is much the same intent. It speaks to preparedness.
A. Vs 2 tells us these 10 young women were, from all outward appearances, the same; because all were invited, they would all be appropriately attired in “wedding clothes.”
B. Vs. 5 tell us that they all slept. They had all grown weary waiting for the bridegroom and as the house became late, they fell asleep.
C. Vs. 7 tells us that when they heard the bridegroom coming they all woke and trimmed their lamps. From outward appearances in these 3 verses we assume the women were alike.
II. The significant difference between the 10 women is 5 were wise and 5 were foolish. What sets them apart?
A. Vs. 4 says “The wise took oil in jars along with their lamps.” They were prepared. They thought ahead because experience had taught them the bridegroom was often late. So, just in case, they took extra oil.
B. In my younger days, I belonged to the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scout Motto is “Be prepared.” Obviously, the wise women knew this bridegroom well. --- Bob was always late for everything. / when he died, his widow refused to leave the limo at the church for 15 minutes. “He made me late our whole married life. Just once when he was on time, I wanted to make him late.”
C. For the Christian, being prepared is not a lifestyle, it is a relationship. You must know the bridegroom, Christ Jesus and know his intention is to come unannounced.
III. As Christians, we are urged to “live prepared.” Living as a Christian 1 hour a week is easy. It’s the daily living with Christ Jesus that is more challenging.
A. Vs. 8 – the foolish (unprepared) women ask “Give us some of your oil.” They wanted to borrow from those who were prepared. If the wise women shared, it was possible all their lamps would fail.
B. Some things can be borrowed; others cannot: knowledge / love / respect / faith. None of these can be borrowed.
C. When I taught school, I knew kids who didn’t do their own homework copying it from others. These were the kids who always made A’s on homework and usually failed the exams.
Conclu: Dennis was a guy from Katy, Texas who had an emergency and needed his suit dry cleaned before he left on a trip. He remembered a store with a huge sign, “One-Hour Dry Cleaners” It was on the other side of town, so he drove out of his way to drop of his suit. After the clerk filled out the necessary information, Dennis told her he had some other errands to run and would be back in an hour to pick up his suit. She replied, “I can’t get this back to you until Thursday.” / “I though you did dry cleaning in an hour,” Dennis said. “Oh no, that’s just the name of the store, we’re not actually prepared to do that.” There are many folks today who say they are a Christian but aren’t prepared to live like one. Wake up! Stay awake! Christ, the bridegroom will come.