Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:19
Jesus makes this statement at the end of His parable of the wise and foolish virgins. We are warned not to be complacent, but to make every effort to ensure we are numbered amongst those who get to join in the wedding feast. The present days are full of uncertainty and we are very aware that we don’t know “the day nor the hour”.
We know that this parable is a story to make a simple point. We don’t want to try to read more into it than Jesus intended but there are two aspects of the story that bother me.
Firstly, I wonder why the wise virgins didn’t seem very helpful toward the others caught without oil. Surely that’s not an example to follow? Having thought about this I suspect it was important for each virgin to go and get their own oil. Maybe the oil represented something that couldn’t be shared, like character, or anointing of the Holy Spirit? It is important now that I cooperate when the Holy Spirit wants to bring change and maturity in areas of my life and not just to hope that Jesus will do it all in an instant when He returns.
Secondly, I find it scary that all ten of the virgins looked pretty much the same until the point of crisis. Unless you did an inspection of their oil supply you would see them all dressed for the wedding, their excitement in anticipation of the bridegroom’s arrival, their lamps….. You’d see no difference. But in the end, the difference was critical, and the foolish virgins missed the party. If I am to take seriously the need to be ready for the Lord’s return, how can I know that I’m a wise and not a foolish virgin?
Let us take these warnings seriously. Thankfully the Lord has all things in hand and we can be assured of His perfect care as we walk closely with Him. Our salvation is not by any works we can bring the Lord. It is about our belief in Him and our submission to Him as Lord. Then we cooperate with His process of refining us and making us holy.
In these days, may the Lord bless you with assurance and the sure knowledge of your place with Jesus in His Kingdom. Increasingly may you see things with clarity and have discernment to know the paths to follow. Also, may you have wisdom and insight to be able to recognise truth from deception and may you have grace always to choose His ways. Be blessed particularly in your intimacy with Jesus in your times spent in prayer and may you grow and deepen in relationship with Him.
Dear Lord, help me in these days to keep my eyes fixed on You and may the concerns and distractions all around stay in their proper place. Give me grace to walk always in Your peace, and may Your life flow from me to others. Amen