Reading: Matthew 25: 1-13
Verse 13: “Therefore keep watch.”
Jesus begins by saying, “the kingdom of heaven will be like…” This is one of four parables that relates to heaven. Heaven is of great concern to most Christians. We want to feel like we are living in such a way that heaven is our final resting place. So when Jesus speaks on heaven, our ears perk up a bit.
The parable of the ten virgins is about being ready when the bridegroom, or Jesus, comes. The parable ends with, “Therefore keep watch.” As we ponder the parable, we consider if we are indeed ready for Jesus’ return. We also naturally consider which group of virgins we are like. Are we like the five with plenty of oil? Do we regularly invest in our faith, keeping closely connected to Jesus, with lots of oil in our faith lamps? Or do we slack here and there, sort of staying connected, sometimes not having enough faith to see us through that next crisis or situation?
Another aspect of the “Therefore keep watch” directive has to do with the here and now. The bridegroom does not just come on the last day. Jesus comes to us every day in Spirit. Perhaps these encounters with Jesus are of greater importance because of their cumulative effect. But we can easily miss them. Where did you encounter Jesus Christ yesterday? How about on Sunday?
As we walk out our daily faith we must be watchful for those people, things, events, times where Jesus is present. It could be in that article or devotional you read, in that prayer time you had, in that stranger on the bus, in your coworker across the cubicle from you, in the words shared by a friend. Each time Jesus tries to draw near is a wonderful opportunity to connect and to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ. In the parable framework, it is a way we put oil in our lamps. In the end Jesus said to the unprepared, to the un-ready, “I don’t know you”. May we be watchful and may we not pass Him by today or any day, lest we too hear these words one day.