“I’m hungry,” said my eight-year-old daughter. “I’m sorry,” I said, “I don’t have anything for you. Let’s play tic-tac-toe.” We had been waiting over an hour for the bride to arrive at the church for what was supposed to be a noon wedding. As I wondered how much longer it would be, I hoped I could occupy my daughter until the wedding started.
As we waited, I felt like we were enacting a parable. Although the vicarage where we live is a stone’s throw from the church, I knew if I went to fetch some crackers, the bride could come at any moment and I would miss her entrance. As I employed many distraction techniques with my hungry daughter, I also thought about Jesus’s parable about the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1–13). Five came prepared with enough oil for their lamps to stay lit as they waited for the bridegroom, but five did not. Just as it was too late for me to dash back to the vicarage, so it was too late for the young women to go and buy more oil for their lamps.
Jesus told this parable to emphasize that we need to be prepared, for when He comes again we will give an account over the state of our hearts. Are we waiting and ready?
What does waiting for Jesus’s return look like in your life? Have you left something undone that you could attend to today?
We need to be ready for Christ to come again.
David Wenham, in his book The Parables of Jesus, comments on the parable of the ten virgins: “It speaks of waiting for the coming of the master—in this case the bridegroom—and of being prepared or unprepared for one’s appointed task and of being rewarded or punished . . . . This is a particularly suggestive picture of the outcome of final judgment.” We don’t know when we will see the Bridegroom. Perhaps we will be alive and looking for Him when he returns or we will be raised from the dead and meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:16–17). What is important is that we are ready when He comes.