The Parable of the Ten Virgins
25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
We begin with a continuation of yesterday’s “be ready”. 5 virgins were ready and waiting with oil in their lamps for the bridegroom. They were the wise ones. Oil often symbolic of the Holy Spirit in the scriptures. It makes sense that the ones with the oil were taken with the groom, symbolic of Jesus. They were ready, they were expecting and they were watching for Him. The rest were not ready when He returned, it was too late.
But God does not leave us wondering how to stay ready. As we look at the next stories, it gives us clear direction how we, the bride of Christ, should be waiting for Him. We see a master giving his servants bags of gold to take care of for him while he is away. Two of them took what he gave them and increased it, while one hid it away and did nothing with it. These bags of gold could symbolize many things, talents, abilities, resources, knowledge, etc.. , that while the master, Jesus, is away, we are to use these things we are given to increase the kingdom of God. He is not talking about getting more gold or getting rich, but rather using what God has entrusted us with wisely to increase the kingdom.
And God breaks it down even more in the last story of the sheep and the goats. The sheep, or God’s faithful ones, used their “bags of gold” wisely by living according to His word. They fed the hungry, clothed the naked, took care of the sick and imprisoned. The others, the goats, were hard hearted and selfish and looked out only for themselves. This is the reason the master took away the servant’s “bag of gold” and the reason the goats were removed from His presence. The sheep and the faithful servants understood the heart of God and desired to do His will and whatever they could to bring others to the kingdom. They understood every person was precious to God, and everyday was important because it may be the last.
In this time of isolation and fear, we definitely have seen the worst of people, with all the fighting and chaos over toilet paper and other things. But we have also seen great things. Just today I heard of someone buying a bunch of flowers to distribute to a group of people, anonymously, just to give them a brighter day. People are offering resources daily for people that may have lost their jobs or struggling. There is food being delivered, phone calls, encouraging notes, you name it. This is what Jesus was getting at, being the light of the world in a dark time. Let’s do what we can to brighten someones day today.
Lord, you have blessed us with abilities and resources. Show us how we can be a light for someone today. Show us who needs encouragement or something to eat. Help us be the faithful servant, the sheep that sits on your right side. We want to be part of building your kingdom and standing ready for that day when you return. Thank you Jesus for another awesome week, in your name amen.