Rock Family Church of Morgantown WV
The Ten Virgins
- Background: Call to Repentance1 About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. 2 “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? 3 Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. 4 And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”perish = G622 - hellThe Barren Fig Tree – 3 years, 3 opportunities6 Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed.Owner = GodGardener = JesusFig tree = IsraelPlanted = Echo(ESV = had) = G2192 = ECHO = “to be” (like Him)Life Lesson: God wants us to sound like HimFig tree = Israel· Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves to cover themselves after the fall· valuable product – food, medicine· sign of peace and prosperityGarden = vineyard“again and again to see if there was ANY” (fruit) = G2212· seek for in order to find· demand something from someone· desire· craveLife Lesson: God expects positive results from our lives· He’s seeking in order to find it – it should be easy to find and obvious· We re to be a lamp on a stand, city on a hill, living epistles – read and known of all men…· Even a single one…Natural fruit symbolizes personal and national fruit (or church fruit)· fig tree - Bears 3 times a yearo Early ripe fig – June – drops as soon as it ripens – Nahum 3:12o Summer fig – Augusto Winter fig – green fig - ripens in springPersonal Fruit = results· Fruit = G2590 resulto Natural = fruit of one’s property – trees, vines or fields – nature should respond, bring resultso Family = fruit of one’s relationships (loins) – children should respond, bring resultso Spiritual = fruit of one’s heart - praises due to God§ God is rarely ever given the praise He is due from His investment in humanity“he was always disappointed” = G3756 = ouch· Like any father, God loves us as people but can be disappointed with our behavior at the same time.7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’· Finally He said = G3004 – command, directo Spiritual principle: Unfruitfulness changed the direction!· Gardener = G289 = vinedresser = Jesuso Husbandman—one whose business it is to cultivate the ground. It was one of the first occupations, and was esteemed most honourable (Gen. 9:20; 26:12, 14; 37:7, etc.). All the Hebrews, except those engaged in religious services, were husbandmen.· Waitedo G2212 – seek in order to findo G2064 – make one’s appearance – show itselfo G575 – separation until fellowship is destroyed· 3 years – patient opportunitieso Prophetic number of completiono 3 years = Length of Jesus’ ministry – enough time for Israel to recognize Him as LordLife Lesson: Grace does not guarantee infinite opportunities· Hasn’t been a single fig = G3756 – OUCHo No when yes was expectedo from a total of 9 possible harvests – WOW· Cut it down = G1581 – cut off occasiono sentence passed, time expired – the return as no longer worth the investmento cut your losses – boundaries – line is drawno wisdom protects from perpetual failure· Taking up space in the garden = G 2673 – unemployed, inactive, inoperative (out of order?)o No more influence, no powero Inefficient – like the 10 talents given moreo To do away with8 “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer.Intercession – dealing, buying more time, mercy – similar to when Abraham convinced God from destroying the city of Sodom if there were 10 righteous people in the city.Give it One more chance – leave it one more year = permission for 3 harvest opportunitiesI’ll give it special attention· G906 - to give over to one’s care uncertain about the result· Special attention = G4626 – Dig aroundand plenty of fertilizer· G2874 = manureLife Lesson: God’s help should be appreciated, no matter the form.9 If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’ ”· If we get figs = G4160 – work, bear, fulfill, perform, produce, commit· Grace – bonus time – 4th year· delayed but not denied· If = conditional – outcome is based on performance· Apparent Agreement – “man” did not refuse the request of the gardenerEnd of the story = BAD – no figsIsrael rejected Jesus as Messiah after his 3-year ministry with them.“tree” of Israel was “cut down” in AD 70 by the Roman empire – Temple destroyed, Jews driven into exile for 1900 years.· Israel cut down, but not cut off – roots remain· Church age –o Gentile branches grafted in until the natural Jewish branches are grafted back in· (Romans 11) All Israel saved in the end!Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.
- IntroIMPORTANT: Jesus speaks about his return many timesWhen will Jesus return?In the (immediate) futureOnly God knows Jesus’ return dateNotes from Nicky GumbelYou don’t know His return date· Some things we are supposed to know and other things we are not to know.· (‘You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know...’, 24:42–43, MSG.)Jesus does not know His return date· Jesus does not even know the time of His own return!What you don’t know· Jesus makes it absolutely clear that no one knows when he will return. He says, ‘No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ (v.36).· this is the only event that even Jesus (while he was on earth) had to say, ‘I don’t know.’So much time and energy has been wasted speculating about the exact time that Jesus will return. You are not meant to know when Jesus will come back because you are supposed to ‘keep watch’ (v.42) and be ready for him to return at any moment.What you do knowJesus’ return = Signs of the timesJesus tells us to learn from the fig tree. When the leaves come out ‘you know that summer is near’ (Matthew 24:32). Jesus says if you look at the signs then ‘you know’ that Jesus’ coming ‘is near’. Therefore, you are to ‘keep watch’ (v.42; 25:13) and ‘be ready’ (24:44).Parable of Preparation – Stay AlertUltimately, it is not about what you know, but about whom you know. It is about having a personal relationship with the bridegroom. In the end, this is what matters more than anything else – knowing Jesus (John 17:3).2nd of 3 parables – to be readyTo illustrate his commands to “be alert” (Matt 24:42) and “be ready” (Matt 24:44) for his second coming,The parable compares the kingdom of heaven to ten virgins, five foolish and five wise, who prepare to meet the bridegroom prior to the wedding ceremony.Part 1 - Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins (Matt 25:1–6)Theme: Be ready for the Lord’s return1 “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.Future tense25:1 The parable opens with the likeness to the kingdom that has introduced many of the parables (13:24; 18:23; 22:2) but with the change of the verb’s tense to future because of the eschatological orientation of the parable.The “kingdom of heaven” has only been mentioned once in the judgment discourse (23:13).Its usage here in the context of talking about the day and hour of Christ’s second coming makes explicit that the coming “day” of Christ’s second coming is the same as the full arrival of the kingdom of heaven.Ten virgins, part of a wedding ceremony, take their lamps and prepare to meet the bridegroom.2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.Foolish = morals = 3474 μωρός [moros /mo·ros/] = godless.Wise = 5429 φρόνιμος [phronimos/fron·ee·mos/]. 1 intelligent, wise. 2 prudent, i.e. mindful of one’s interests. Energy Crisis in the Church – no oilThe wise virgins bring oil for the lamps, but the foolish do not.3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps,4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil.· Wise = prepared for extended usage.· foolish = virgins took no oil for their lamps.Jesus’ return – delayed but not denied· The bridegroom is delayed, and all of the virgins fall asleep.· Today’s church is asleep – some even sleep while IN church5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.· The delay of the bridegroom is similar to the delay of the lord of the house in the previous parable (24:46–50)· clearly corresponds to the unknown day and hour of Christ’s second comingGrace Factor: The Lord’s delay gives time to get right!9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. 11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live,Jesus return = long delay, sudden announcementYou know too that although his coming is near, it may be a long time before he comes (25:5). And you also know that he will come at an hour ‘when you do not expect him’ (24:44). Whenever he comes it is going to be a surprise and the key is to be ready for him to come at any moment.All ten virgins fall asleep.6 “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’25:6 While the ten virgins are asleep,.A shout is given, announcing his arrival.the bridegroom at last comesare you ready?Part 2 – The Arrival of the Bridegroom (Matt 25:7–13)With the shout that the bridegroom is coming, all the virgins trim their lamps to go out in the middle of the night, but the foolish virgins are unprepared.They ask for oil from the wise ones, but the wise ones tell them to go out and purchase some themselves.While they are gone, the bridegroom arrives, the wise virgins enter into the celebration with him, and the door is closed.The foolish virgins attempt to call out in an attempt to enter, but the bridegroom indicates that he does not know them. Jesus closes the parable with the command to “be alert.”7 “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps.25:7 All ten virgins awake, ready to perform their role in the wedding ceremony.They trim the wicks of their lamps.Jesus’ return = 50% ready8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’25:8 The five foolish virgins realize their lamps are going out for lack of oil and ask the wise virgins to share their olive oil.The Unprepared go away from the Lord9 “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’25:9 The wise virgins respond to the request from the foolish ones in the previous verse.They tell them to go buy some oil, as there is not enough for them to share.10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked.25:10 The foolish virgins listen to the advice of the wise virgins from the previous verse, but while they are out buying the oil that they should have brought with them in the first place, the bridegroom arrives.The call goes out – Midnight cryAt last, in the middle of the night, the shout comes that the bridegroom has arrived, and the virgins should go out to meet him.When the announcement comes, the foolish virgins are unprepared and go to buy oil for their lamps.The prepared go inWhile they are gone, the groom and wise virgins enter into the celebration, and the door is closed.Irony = long wait, short opportunitySlow to open, quick to closeSimilar to Noah’s ark – 120 years to build vs a few daysThe wise virgins were ready and so accompany him into the wedding celebration, with the door closed behind them.The door is shutThe foolish virgins attempt to enter, but the bridegroom indicates that he does not know them.The unprepared cry out11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’25:11–12 The lack of preparedness on part of the foolish virgins excludes them from the ceremony of meeting the bridegroom and entering into the wedding celebration with him.They knock on the door that has been shut (25:10) and ask the “lord” (i.e., the bridegroom) to open the door.The switch here to “lord” instead of bridegroom draws the connection to the lord of the house in the previous parable (24:45, 46, 48, 50; 24:42).The bridegroom responds to the foolish virgins, saying that he does not know them.This exchange draws to mind earlier teaching in the Gospel (7:21–23; 22:14) and will be reiterated in the final judgment scene that closes the judgment discourse (25:41–46).The significance of Jesus’ response here is indicated by the phrase “truly I say to you,” which is used many times by Jesus throughout the Gospel, drawing extra attention to the importance of what is said.The warning is given – Be PreparedJesus closes the parable with the command to “be alert.” And prepared (your heart)13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.25:13 Jesus now reiterates the command first made in 24:42 and reiterated in 24:44.This parable and the last parable are told specifically to support the importance of the command to be alert.The virgins were all caught unaware at the time of the bridegroom’s approach, and only the wise ones were prepared to respond.In the same way, the redeemed community does not know the day or the hour of Christ’s second coming, but should be prepared.Are you ready to meet Jesus?To enable you to see what it means to be ready for his return, Jesus paints a picture of the difference between a servant being wise or wicked. The wise servant remains ready for their master’s return by remaining faithful to their master’s instructions and honorable in the way they treat others.· The wicked servant is faithless to their master’s instructions and destructive in how they treat others. The conclusion is markedly different (compare v.47 with v.51).· you are ready for Jesus’ return if you live a life where you love God and love others.However, underneath this love for God and love for others is the key component of what it means to be ready for Jesus’ return.In the parable of the ten virgins, the bridegroom says to those virgins who have been asleep and are not ready,‘I don’t know you’ (25:12).not intellectual knowledge but personal knowledge.
2 Peter 3:9–11NLT
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