Matthew 25 - THE TEN BRIDESMAIDS (The Voice Version)

(Matthew 25:1) Jesus: Or picture the kingdom of heaven this way. It will be like ten bridesmaids who each picked up a lantern and went out to meet a certain bridegroom.

Five of these women were sensible, good with details, and remembered to bring small flasks of oil for their lanterns.

But five of them were flighty, too caught up in the excitement of their jaunt, and forgot to bring oil with them.

The bridegroom did not turn up right away. Indeed, all the women, while waiting, found themselves falling asleep.

(Matthew 25:6) And then in the middle of the night, they heard someone call, “The bridegroom is here, finally! Wake up and greet him!”. (Matthew 25:7) The women got up and trimmed the wicks of their lanterns and prepared to go greet the groom.

The five women who had no oil turned to their friends for help.

Ill-prepared Bridesmaids: Please give us some of your oil! Our lanterns are flickering and will go out soon.

(Matthew 25:9) But the five women who’d come prepared with oil said they didn’t have enough.

Prepared Bridesmaids: If we give you some of our oil, we’ll all run out too soon! You’d better go wake up a dealer and buy your own supply.

So the five ill-prepared women went in search of oil to buy, and while they were gone, the groom arrived. The five who stood ready with their lanterns accompanied him to the wedding party, and after they arrived, the door was shut.

Finally the rest of the women turned up at the party. They knocked on the door.

Ill-prepared Bridesmaids: Master, open up and let us in!

Bridegroom (refusing): (Matthew 25:12) I certainly don’t know you.

So stay awake; you neither know the day nor hour [when the Son of Man will come].

Jesus provides a picture of the coming reality of the kingdom of heaven. As they approach the time of His sacrifice,

Jesus makes sure the disciples know that soon it will be too late; the door of opportunity will close, and for many the door will remain shut.

He gives them another image of the same reality to bring the picture into focus. Once they were bridesmaids waiting for their bridegroom; now they are slaves waiting for their Master.

This time they are given responsibilities that will be rewarded. The blessings of the Kingdom bring risks along with the benefits.

Summary: No one knows the day or the hour the son of man will come! We are his bridesmaids! We need to be alert at all times and be prepared to meet him and not be ashamed of ourselves. "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares" (Luke 21:34).

Surfeiting is equivalent to overindulging in something, similar to idolatry (prioritizing any activity above God). Re-read above about the five flighty bridesmaids, caught up in the excitement. Those bridesmaids are caught up in worldy activities.