Jump Start # 2697
Matthew 25:13 “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”
Our verse today is how the Lord ends the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The wise virgins were prepared. They had extra oil. They didn’t have any more insight than the foolish ones. They weren’t given a tip, a signal or some special notification that things were going to be delayed. There were not told that they just might want to take along some extra oil. They didn’t know. What they did know was that things happen at weddings. Even the best plans are often upset, delayed and changed. Weather does that. An outdoor wedding suddenly becomes an inside wedding. There isn’t enough food. The cake didn’t make it. All kinds of disasters can happen at a wedding. And, here in the Lord’s parable about a wedding, the groom was delayed. He was delayed so long, that the ten bride’s maids became sleepy. The yawns started. The conversations died down. One falls asleep. Then the next. Pretty soon, they are all sleep. With dreams of weddings dancing in their minds time passes. Suddenly, there is a shout. The groom is coming. Up, up all the girls get up. They straighten out their dresses. They fix their hair. The lamps are turned up and now, it is discovered that some of them do not have enough oil. It’s midnight. It’s dark. They will have to travel through the streets with the groom to his parents home. Lamps are needed. The five foolish beg for oil from the other girls. They don’t have enough to share. What to do? Ideas and thoughts race around the room. Off to the market, at that hour, to find more oil. They leave in a whirlwind. They are going as fast as they can. But while they are gone, the groom comes. The five with the oil are off with the groom to the wedding. When the other five finally show up, it’s too late. The door is shut and they are not allowed in. They missed it. What a great disappointment. They had been looking forward to this for a long, long time. And, now, they are left outside. Blame the groom for the delay. Blame the others for not sharing their oil. But, as it is, they simply did not anticipate, prepare nor plan for such a long delay.
Our verse sums up this parable. Be alert. You do not know the day, you do not know the hour. The Lord is not talking about the starting of a wedding, but His return. He is coming. You don’t know when. Be ready, by living ready.
Not knowing the day nor the hour is revealing to us.
First, there are some projects that simply will not be completed. There are some books that will not be finished. There are some sermons that will not be preached. There are some houses that will still be under construction. Some students will not have graduated. Some babies will not be born. Some prizes will not be awarded. Life will come to a sudden halt when Jesus comes. It’s not going to be a very slow process in which everyone sees it coming. No. Instead, no one knows the day nor the hour. Not knowing, means plans will be made. People will not be expecting it, not at least on that day.
Second, some good intentions will never be realized. There will be some who were planning on coming home to the Lord. One day they would do that, is what they’ve told themselves over and over. This and that got in the way and they never fully got back to the Lord. Oh, they intended to and they had great thoughts, but they never got around to putting their feet to those plans. And, now, a day has come when they weren’t expecting and it’s too late. They never got their priorities in the right order. The Lord never was first for them. There are others who planned to apologize. There were some who planned to forgive. They were waiting for the right moment. They knew they had to do this. But the right moment never came and now the Lord has and it’s too late. There were cards that were going to be sent, but they never were. There were words of encouragement that was planned to be shared, but they never were. A day came and the Lord came. All those good intentions were left undone.
Third, there will be some who are so glad to see the Lord. They have expected this day for a long time. They have loved the Lord, followed the Lord and knew one day He would come. Their faith is strong. Their hope was real. And, now that the Lord came, they are so delighted to be in His presence. What a grand day this is for those who are ready. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins follows the five foolish ones. But think about the five wise ones. They followed the groom to the wedding. The door was shut and there they experienced the greatest joy, fun and love that they have ever seen in their lives. They couldn’t believe how wonderful it was. The food was fantastic. The music touched their hearts. The laughter, smiles and celebration was so wonderful. And, there the groom, the Lord, made them feel so at home. The atmosphere was magical. The people were the greatest. It was a night to remember. It was a celebration that one wanted to last forever. And, in the symbolism of Scriptures, it would. It would be Heaven. It would be with the Lord. Didn’t the wise leave things unfinished when the groom came? Certainly, but those things do not matter. Not now. Didn’t they have things still to do? Yes. But none of those things mattered. Nothing was more important than being at the wedding. It wasn’t just any wedding, it was the wedding of a lifetime. There is no other place they would rather be. They didn’t feel pulled to leave and go home and finish some other tasks. They were with the groom and that’s the only place that they wanted to be.
He’s coming. He’s promised that. We don’t know when. But, you don’t want to miss it. Be ready. Be alert.