Verse: Matthew 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins)
“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.
Are you a procrastinator? I used to be. BIG TIME. I remember in college I had to take a statistics class. I had always been a natural at math, so I figured this would be super easy. I actually skipped the class regularly because I had tennis class right before, and I'd just stay and play more tennis! When the first test came, I started studying the night before. And I was blown away by how much I didn't know. There was no way for me to recover. I got a C on the test. I had to go to every single class for the rest of the semester, and ace the rest of the work, to bring it up to an A.
The parable Jesus is telling here is exactly the same, but instead of statistics, it's about following him. The five virgins who didn't have enough oil represent those of us who want to meet the bare minimum standards of following Jesus. We want the title of "being a Christian" without really committing to "being a disciple." We say the right things, and maybe even believe the right things, but we don't choose to organize our lives around the teachings and Lordship of Jesus.
It is so tempting to have one foot in the world and one foot in the Word. It feels appealing to give God half of our attention. But Jesus never asked anyone to follow him half-heartedly. He often lamented people who wanted to follow him, but also had other things they needed to attend to first (Luke 9:60; Mark 10:17-27). He is not asking for a nod in the right direction, or a life that looks religious on the outside, or someone who can say all the right things.
He is looking for people who have fully given their everything over to him. He wants full union with us—relationship that allows us to fully love and be fully loved. A relationship that touches every part of our heart and life. This, my friends, is not religion. This is the apprenticeship relationship that he has always been seeking when he calls to each of us, "Follow me." Let us all pray: All that I am, all that I was, all that I will be, is yours Lord. All of my dreams, all of my possessions, all of my relationships are yours Lord. Your will be done, not mine. Your teachings instruct my life, not mine. Relationship and union with you be paramount in my life above all else Lord. Amen!