Jesus tried to prepare His followers for what was to come. He told parables to help them understand. One of those parables was about ten virgins or bridesmaids.
Matthew 25 tells the story of ten bridesmaids awaiting the wedding day. The five wise women, knowing the bridegroom could come at any time of the night, brought along extra oil for their lamps. The foolish women, however, didn’t have such foresight.
The bridegroom was delayed, and so the women all fell asleep waiting for him. Around midnight, he finally arrived, but when they went to light their lamps, the foolish women had run out of oil, so their lamps wouldn’t light.
They begged the other women to give them oil, but the wise women only had enough for their own lamps. They told the foolish women they’d need to go buy more oil.
While the were out buying oil, the bridegroom came and took the wise women to the wedding feast, shutting the doors behind them.
The foolish women showed up, begging to be let in, but the bridegroom refused them entrance, saying he didn’t know who they were.
Jesus concluded his story by saying, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
How confused the people of the day must have been trying to understand all that Jesus was telling them. Much of it didn’t make sense to them. But He made clear they needed to be ready when the time came.
So often we procrastinate or neglect our duties, just like the foolish bridesmaids, but we must always be mindful and ready for Jesus’s return.
Read about the ten bridesmaids: Matthew 25:1-13