Friday, November 11, 2011


Just as the last chapter ended with warnings concerning Christ's Second Coming, Matthew 25 begins with a warning known as the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13). In order to understand this parable, one needs to be familiar with the marriage customs of that day. After checking several sources, all differing in their portrayal of the marriage process, I have decided, rather than present any one as credible, I will focus instead on what the Scriptures present concerning the Lord and His bride.

The Bridegroom is Jesus (Matt. 9:15; Jn. 3:29; Rev. 21:9).

The bride consists of the redeemed of Israel and born again believers (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:14; 31:31-33; Rev. 21:12-14).

According to the parable in Matthew 22:1-14, the Father sent His servants (the prophets) to gather the invited guests, Israel, but they rejected the invitation, even harming those who were sent to them (v. 3-8). As a result, the Father "was wroth: and He sent forth His armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city (v. 7). Jerusalem, with the Temple, was destroyed in A.D. 70!

The Father then sent out His servants (the apostles) to gather whosoever they could find to come to the wedding, "both good and bad" (v. 8-10). Although I can find no evidence for this, I believe the wedding garments were provided freely to those attending. When one did not feel the need to accept a garment, he was forcibly removed (v. 11-13). Jesus summed up the parable by saying, "For many are called, but few are chosen" (v. 14). God's chosen was Israel, a small nation of people compared to the many who were called as a result to Israel's rejection of their Messiah (the entire population of humanity - Jn. 1:11-12; Rom. 10:13). In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Gentile; all are considered to be the bride of Christ (Gal. 3:28; Rev. 22:9).

The marriage of a Jewish man involved his choosing a wife, his payment of the price for her hand in marriage, his return home to prepare a place for them to live, his return to take his wife home to marry her, and he, with his bride would return for the wedding celebration.

That is exactly what our Lord did and will do for us. He has chosen us (Eph. 1:4; 2 Thes. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9). He has paid the price (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; 2 Pet. 2:1). He has returned to heaven to prepare a place for us (Jn. 14:1-2; Acts 1:9). He will return to take His bride home (Jn. 14:3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:16-17). He will marry us in heaven (Rev. 19:7-8). Together with Him, we will return to the wedding celebration (Matt. 25:10 - the word "marriage" in the Greek is γάμος (gamos) , which is best translated "a wedding or marriage festival, a wedding banquet, a wedding feast>"). That celebration is what the virgins were to prepare.

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