Almyra First Baptist

Oil Supply Issues: Matthew 25:1-13

Matthew 25:1-13

The Bridegroom as Christ--

What is the story here?

It's a story of preparedness. Of readiness. That's the main point, certainly, that we ought to keep oil on hand for our lamps.

Yet let's dig into this parable, let's consider what's going on here.

First, a few identifications. Parables are meant to make a point. The people and events are generally meant to symbolize a larger group.

So, to the text: The Bridegroom is the Lord Jesus Christ. It's typically hard to find a parable in the New Testament that the King or the Groom or the Chief isn't there to point you to Jesus. Even if the king in the parable is wicked, he's there to point you to the not-ever-wicked King Jesus.

So we see that the Bridegroom has asked these 10 young women to join him for the celebration of his wedding. Who are these 10 a picture of?

They're a picture of the church. They are a picture of those who claim allegiance to Christ----

But there's a problem. What's the problem?

The first problem is the delay of the bridegroom. We all know people who are never on time----those for whom 6 means 6:30, but this is an inexplicable delay. There's the expectation that he would have been there sooner, but he's not there yet.

The second problem is the unpreparedness of the 5 "foolish" bridesmaids--(the word here is young woman/virgin/bridesmaid: unmarried young women were expected to be pure---it's an assumption. A safe one then, would be a better world if it was still a safe one)

The final problem, though, is the neglect of the 5 "prudent" bridesmaids. Here are 5 that are prepared for a delay. 5 that expect the delay. They've brought supplies. 

Yet what have they not done?

They haven't said a word to the other five. Let's picture this. Torch in one hand. Jar of oil in the other hand. They look, see their compatriots with a torch in one hand....and what in the other? Nothing?

Yet one of them thinks to herself "I  don't want to be rude"

Another thinks of the hypocrisy that she once forgot her oil, and it would be just hypocritical to point out someone else's faults that are just like hers in the past.

Yet another knows what will happen---at least one of those girls won't know where to go buy oil, and she'll have go, walk her to the shop and spend her time and effort making up for someone else's shortcomings.

Then there's the fourth one. She noticed. She knew, but she wasn't about to say anything. After all, it's not her fault these other five were unable to do the simplest things. That one would need spare oil, well, that should have been obvious.

The fifth, well, she didn't notice. She was there because of her love for the bridegroom and family. Whatever someone else was doing or not doing, she couldn't tell.

Whatever their excuses, the truth is that all ten gathered together, sat, waited, and were there long enough to slumber.

Then the shout comes----the celebration, the fellowship with the bridegroom.

Five bridesmaids get in. Five are left out.

What I want us to consider today is where we stand before the Bridegroom....who are we?

1. Are we bridesmaids? Now, gentlemen, it's a parable: just as we have no man-problems with being part of the "bride of Christ", have no difficulty putting yourself as a bridesmaid....this is a question that you must answer for yourself, but when the Bridegroom makes his invitations, have you responded? {Salvation}

2. Are we foolish? Have we brought our preparation? What is the preparation? {Being a disciple}

     1. A steady supply of what we need: the Word, the Spirit, the Fellowship of Believers---
     2. Do you know you need those things?
     3. If you don't---why not? Are you among the bridesmaids?

3. Are we prudent but selfish? {Making Disciples}
     1. Are you aware that it is your job to make disciples?
     Really: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
     2. What excuses do you make for not making disciples?
          1. Ignorance?
          2. Selfishness?
          3. Fear?
4. What are we? What is our church about?
     This is what the church is for: that we would make disciples of the nations.  We must not assume that just because a person has walked an aisle and still shows up in church that they are a disciple of Christ---they may not know what they need to be doing! We must, as God's people, work to teach---
By life, by example...
By words, by lessons....
By all that we do----
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