1. Hurricane Matthew has reminded us that being prepared for storms is necessary.
2. Perhaps this is a good time to examine the necessity of being prepared for a much
greater event -- the Lord's return.
3. Jesus taught His followers to watch and to be ready for His return (Matthew 24:42, 44).
4. The Scriptures reveal why preparation is essential -- the day of the Lord's return will
arrive unexpectedly (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2; 2 Peter 3:10; Matthew 24:36).
5. To help us be prepared we are studying the Lord's teaching in Matthew 25.
a. (vs.1-13) He presented "the parable of the virgins."
b. (vs.14-30) He presented "the parable of the talents."
c. (vs.31-46) He discussed the judgment that will occur when He returns.
I. LET US FIRST STUDY "THE PARABLE OF THE VIRGINS" (vs.1-13)
A. (vs.1) Jesus used a marriage custom to illustrate an important lesson about His kingdom.
B. Jesus often used parables in His teaching (Matthew 13:34-35; Psalm 78:2).
1. Parables are stories or comparisons that illustrate spiritual lessons.
2. Jesus often compared the kingdom to different things that were familiar to the people
He taught [fishing, agriculture, herding sheep, etc.].
C. This parable involved a marriage.
1. In our culture we have our own marriage customs.
2. However, marriage customs in Palestine during the first century were different.
II. (vs.2-5) THIS PARABLE INVOLVED 10 VIRGINS
A. (vs.2) They were divided into 2 groups:
1. 5 were wise (see 24:45-47)
2. 5 were foolish (see 24:48-51).
B. (vs.3-4) We learn why they were divided into 2 groups.
1. (vs.3) The foolish virgins took their lamps, but they did not take any extra oil.
2. (vs.4) The wise virgins took extra oil.
3. The actual difference between the 2 groups is that the wise virgins were prepared,
and the foolish virgins were not prepared.
C. (vs.5) The virgins had something in common -- they had to wait for the bridegroom to arrive.
III. (vs.6-9) THE ARRIVAL OF THE BRIDEGROOM WAS ANNOUNCED
A. (vs.6) A cry was made at midnight that he was coming.
1. The virgins knew that he would be coming.
2. However, they did not know the exact time of his arrival (24:36).
B. (vs.7) When the cry was made, all the virgins awoke and trimmed their lamps.
C. (vs.8) The foolish virgins wanted the wise virgins to give them some of their oil.
D. (vs.9) The wise virgins could not give up their oil because there was not enough for
everyone [each was responsible for being prepared].
IV. (vs.10-12) THE BRIDEGROOM ARRIVED
A. (vs.10) When he arrived, the virgins that were ready went in to the marriage, and the
door was shut.
B. (vs.11-12) When the foolish virgins returned and tried to go in, they were not allowed to enter.
V. (vs.13) THE LESSON: JESUS EMPHASIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING
PREPARED FOR HIS RETURN
A. The Lord wants us to be ready for His return (Luke 12:35-40).
B. The Bible strongly warns against "sleeping" [being unprepared] (1 Thessalonians 5:3-10).
1. In this parable Jesus stressed the importance of being ready for His return.
2. As He continued with His "parable of the talents" (vs.14-30), He showed us how to be ready
for His return.