The chapter begins right where chapter 24 left off. We move into a parable about the bride being ready for the bridegroom. In the parable there are ten virgins; five who are wise (the ones on fire for God who have a relationship with Him and have the Holy Spirit for guidance) and five who are unwise (lukewarm believers who don’t know God and who God doesn’t know due to their lack of interest in Him).
These ten virgins go with their lamps to wait to meet their bridegroom. The five foolish virgins, however didn’t bring enough oil where as the wise ones brought oil and back up oil in flasks to add to their lamps when their lamps got low. When the unwise ran out of oil they asked the wise for some of theirs to which the wise replied no. They didn’t have enough to give to the others and still keep theirs lit. So the unwise left to go try to buy more oil and while they were gone the bridegroom came for His bride and took with Him the five who were wise. The unwise cried out for Him to come back and get them and He replied to them that He does not know them. He tells them to watch therefor, for they don’t know the day or hour on which He will return and they need to be ready this time.
This parable references the active and inactive believers. The followers of Christ and the non-followers. From this parable we know that we need the Holy Spirit, we need the guidance from the Holy Spirit to keep us lit in His guidance. We need to know Jesus and He needs to know us. We need to be on fire for God! You can’t be on fire for Him and be lukewarm, the two doesn’t mix. Fire burns and ignites more in fire, it can’t be lukewarm or mild. We also learn that we need to be ready for Him, we get ready by constantly seeking Him and knowing Him more.
When people want coffee, they either want hot coffee or cold coffee. Very rarely does someone ask for room temperature coffee that is lukewarm. God wants us to be like hot coffee, not room temperature. It is simple, we either choose to serve God and seek Him and burn on fire in Him; or we are cold and spit out because the coldness reflects all the ways one serves the devil instead. You can only be hot or cold, there is no lukewarm. Be mindful of what you are, because the bridegroom (Jesus) returns for His bride (the ones of fire full of His light by oil aka the Holy Spirit) and the ones who are lukewarm are left behind.
We are then moved into another parable, the parable of talents. A master gives three servants different amounts of talents (money) each according to their ability. Notice it was decided upon their abilities. We are all loved by God, yet we all have different abilities in Him based off of our faithfulness in Him. The one servant received five talents because he had the ability to do more with more. The next was given two talents and the last was given one. The one that received five went and took his five and traded with them and made a profit receiving an additional five talents. The one who received two took them and traded them and received an additional two in their talents. The one who had received only one talent went and buried his in a whole, afraid to let it go and instead chose to harbor it; not only did he not make anything with it but he also didn’t use it for anything of use either.
When the master returned he said to the servants who had made more with what they received, “well done, you good and faithful servants.” However, to the one who hid his money he said, “you wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap the harvest where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter seed, then you ought to have put my money with the bankers and at my return I would have received my money back with interest. Take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.” The ones who don’t use what they are given will have it stripped away and it will be given to the ones who serve him.
From this we see that God give us gifts, He provides our needs and does all this so we can then step out in faith and use them to serve Him by blessing others. He gives us the resources needed to serve Him. God gives His people gifts to operate in His power through the Holy Spirit to prophecy, heal, cast out demons and so forth. He gives us these to help bring people to Him. He doesn’t give us this ability in Him to sit on the couch and do nothing with it. He wants us to take what He has given us and go out and double it, bring in more for the harvest not harbor it and be stingy with it. We are to be giving, not just in financials but with our time and we need to be a serving vessel to the lord; not a wasteful vessel.
We are told to go out, pray for the sick and cast out demons. To do this we need to have the Holy Spirit, know God and allow Him to use us, to work through us.To me, this chapter is a HUGE reality check for us all. If we haven’t laid hands on anyone for healing, preached His word, ministered to anyone about Him or done anything remotely close to that, that brings anyone closer to Him this week/month/year…. well then we haven’t been the servant with 5 or 2 talents. If we haven’t done anything to serve God recently then it could be very possible that we are currently the servant with one talent, the foolish bride without any oil. The good news is, it’s not too late to change. Repent and ask God to help, to show the right path and begin seeking Him more today and know Him more so we can serve Him, so we can be a vessel He can use to draw the lost near.
If you feel you have unknowingly been the lost, you have accidentally fallen into the place of the servant with 1 talent or the bride without oil; repent of selfish ways and go to Him. If you feel like you have been seeking Him but you don’t know what to do to serve Him, the next time you go to the grocery store find someone and pray for them. It might feel weird and uncomfortable and that is ok. Jesus spoke to strangers and prayed for strangers all the time, we are to follow His footsteps. If our life doesn’t look anything like Jesus’, then we need to make some drastic changes before it is too late and we are out of time. We don’t want to be the bride that is left behind because we weren’t ready for our bridegroom. Church, the bridegroom is coming and His bride (us) needs to be ready or some will be left behind. Unfit brides will not be taken with Him.
In the book of Mathew we see many many times, how Jesus preached the word of God, He taught the word of God, He laid hands on the sick and they were healed, He prophecied to bring glory to God and the lost to God, He remained sinless and selfless, He only spoke what God told Him, He spent much time in prayer with God daily, He went where God told Him too and did what God told Him to do. This is what our days should look like. God may have placed you in a nine to five job somewhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve Him. Minister to people you see at work, when you see someone in pain or sick lay hands on them and command with authority in Christ for them to be healed in Jesus name, draw near to God and seek Him in your secret place daily. You might not find someone to lay hands on daily but there should never be a reason we get too busy to be alone with God each day in our secret place to draw near to Him.
This is a lot to take in with this chapter as well as the last chapter. There is a sense of urgency to get the church (us, the believers and body of Christ) ready for Him. The body of Christ as a whole has work to do, we are no where near ready (I don’t specifically mean our church although we are apart of that list, but I mean the entire body, the church of Christ filled with all believers from all over the world). We all have work to do.
I thank God for this opportunity to remind us that we need to be ready for Him. We need to be full of oil when He comes for His bride. Don’t be the foolish bride without any oil, when that day comes you can’t borrow or buy it from someone else. Don’t be so afraid to step out and serve God that you stash away your gifts that God has given you. Be active in Him, seek Him, know Him so that you can follow Him and actively serve Him. He is a good, good Father; trust Him.
If there is someone reading this who thinks they don’t have gifts and that is why they haven’t stepped out much, well, think of it like this; you don’t need a hammer and all of the tools needed to build a house if you are going to sit on the couch and not build a house. You need the tools the moment you step on the job site to work. You might not think you have gifts because you simply haven’t stepped out enough times to see anything manifest from God. God gives His gifts/tools the moment they are ready to be used. He won’t give you a tool if there isn’t anything in the moment to use it on. You don’t need a hammer if you are sitting on your couch and not working. This means we need to step out. Take a leap of faith. Lay hands on someone for healing and just believe they will be healed because it is Gods will for us all to be healed. Be willing to step out and talk to strangers so a word of knowledge will be in need. If you aren’t going to use the word of knowledge it has no reason to come to you. You have to be willing to be used. Step out, rely on Him and have faith in Him and give Him the opportunity to use His gifts/tools in you. You will be amazed at just how great and powerful He is in you when you allow Him to work in You.
God is waiting to use you, He loves you and has big plans for you to serve Him in His kingdom. Don’t wait too long, don’t run out of time and be standing there as a foolish bride without oil who missed her bridegroom. God bless