Summary: Following up on His teaching in Matthew 24, Jesus gives an illustration from normal life about being ready for His coming or not.
Passage: Matthew 25:1-13
Intro: The crisis in Japan has kind of faded into the background for us, though not for them.
1. fears of “the end of the world” have faded, as they invariably do.
2. other disasters, like tornados in SE.
3. but when we think about the end of the world, we tend to keep asking the wrong question.
4. we ask about the “when”, and for all the wrong reasons.
5. but in this parable showing strong contrasts, we will hear Jesus asking the only appropriate question.
6. let’s dive into this parable, remembering not to get lost in trying to define details. One purpose.
I. The Wise and the Foolish
1. time setting is important, ”at that time” refers back to chap 24
2. “kingdom of heaven”=the plan and purpose of God at the end.
3. the main characters in this story are these 10 nameless young girls with a task
4. in Jewish culture, groom released by father to go get his bride, which he does without warning.
Il) compare that kind of suddenness to the preparation for William and Kate
5. so their task was to be ready to escort the groom to brides house with lights!
6. “lamps probably torches, because what good would a little lamp do in the street.
PP lit torch/oil lamp
7. two groups present, with one word description.
8. half were “foolish”=morai, where we get our word “moron”
9. root word= “to be silly”
10. they aren’t bad people, we might refer to them as “lighthearted”
11. this is a person who doesn’t take anything seriously.
12. free from worry, free from concern.
Il) kids are like this. If parents are good, they have no worries about eating, paying the mortgage, putting gas in the car. They are care-free
Il) Awana games, trying to give the instructions for the games.
13. other 5 girls were “wise”=sensible, thoughtful, prudent.
14. not intelligence or knowledge
15. word has many forms, including “sober”=not drunk
16. another form of this same word used in 1 Peter 5:8
PP 1 Peter 5:8
17. this is the person who reads the whole letter, follows the instructions, acts in line with reality.
18. so there are the two groups, one chattering along, the others talking, but a little more sober
19. now everyone wants to be lighthearted and carefree, right?
Il) “Lighten up”
II. The Wise Act Thoughtfully, The Foolish Live in the Day
1. they had a task to fulfill, to light the path of the groom and call attention to a joyous event.
2. no time given, so the wise girls took some extra oil just in case.
3. just took a little thought, some care to act in light of the information they had (and didn’t have).
4. didn’t mean they were glum, sour, grumpy. They just thought about it and acted with wisdom.
5. now the foolish took a different route.
6. they took the route of assumption and wishful thinking.
7. they took the lamps and the oil on their lamps, (they were all lit)
8. but no extra oil, even though they probably saw the others lugging oil.
9. because they assumed the groom would come quickly
10. and if not, perhaps they assumed others would share.
11. “we’ll be fine” “everything will be great” “let’s be optimistic”
12. here is the theme song of the foolish
PP “Have a Good Time” Paul Simon
13. We all remember, (at least us guys) when our lives weren’t so well organized.
Il) “got a pen, got a piece of paper?” “The test is today??”
13. a life lived by assumptions and wishful thinking may be more fun, but not very successful.
14. there is a strong time element here we can’t miss
15. these girls thought they had all kinds of time, assumed they had judged it correctly.
Il) But I thought the light would stay yellow a little longer. I thought you would give me more time…”
16. were not worried about accountability in the future, they lived in the here and now.
17. Jesus told another similar story about a guy like that.
18. the fool floats through life ignoring the warnings, hoping for the best.
19. the wise carefully examines the evidence he has been given and acts prudently. Not grumpy or sour, just thoughtful action and attitudes.
III. The Day of Reckoning Arrives.
1. this is were it gets very serious.
2. because when the groom comes (Jesus’ return) there is a flurry of activity.
3. everyone wakes up, everyone sets about the task of lamp trimming.
4. two things. Trim the cloth that is burnt, and refresh the oil.
5. wise did that, went into the feast as promised.
6. for the foolish, panic sets in.