(Photo by Selma Komisky)
A Note From the Editor: June, 2017
Consider the Parable of the 10 Virgins
By Selma Komisky
“The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. But only five of them were wise enough to fill their lamps with oil, while the other five were foolish and forgot. “So, when the bridegroom was delayed, they lay down to rest until midnight, when they were roused by the shout, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!’ “All the girls jumped up and trimmed their lamps. Then the five who hadn’t any oil begged the others to share with them, for their lamps were going out. “But the others replied, ‘We haven’t enough. Go instead to the shops and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were gone, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. “Later, when the other five returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Sir, open the door for us!’ “But he called back, ‘Go away! It is too late!’ “So stay awake and be prepared, for you do not know the date or moment of my return.
– Matthew 25:1-13 (Living Bible)
Long ago in ancient Israel, families arranged marriages. At that time it was very common for the father of the groom to select a bride for his son. Likewise, we too were selected by the Father to be His Beloved Son’s precious bride (Ephesians 1:4). It was said it could be up to two years for the bride to wait for her groom.
According to Rabbi Kenn in “The Messiah and the Jewish Wedding,” when the groom built a new home, the bride would wait and wear a veil and a head band with coins. This showed that belonged only to the groom and was no longer available. She would prepare for her wedding by making blankets just like the Proverb 31:10-31 woman. She would also show gratitude to her family for raising her and work on mending hurt relationships. No matter what, she had to be ready because he could come at night.
In the ancient Jewish wedding, when the father saw that the time had come for his son to go and get his bride, at the least expected moment of a night, a trumpet (the Shofar) would sound, and the bridegroom would see in the distance where his bride was waiting for him, holding her burning oil lamp. He would then find her and take her to be with him for seven days.
In Christianity, the body of believers or the Church is the bride, and Jesus, the Messiah, is the bridegroom. Also according to Glen Kay from “Jewish Wedding Customs and the Bride of Messiah,” The word eyrusin means – betrothal. The period is also called – kiddushim – meaning “sanctification” or “set apart.” Kay says, “This word really defines the purpose of the betrothal period. It is a time in which the couples are to set side to prepare themselves to enter into the covenant of marriage. The Jewish understanding of betrothal has always been much stronger than our modern understanding of an engagement. But as with any Jewish bridegroom – He must wait for His Father to give the word that the set time has come.”
Kay continues commenting on 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 where the sounding of the shofar announces Christ’s return. He notes, “At the sounding of the shofar the entire wedding processional would go through the streets of the city to the bride’s house – but where is this wedding processional at Yeshua’s coming wedding – again it is clearly pictured for us in (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) – where all of Yeshua’s wedding party is gathered together for the great wedding feast.The pinnacle of the Jewish wedding was the joyful celebration of the marriage supper – this too is a facet of our Lord’s soon coming wedding (Revelation 19:7-9).
We, too, must be ready, Jesus tells us. We do not know the hour of His return, and more than this, the coming of the Son of Man will be at a time we least expect it. This stage is awesome, because we (the church) are in that time; our “bridegroom” will soon show up for us.
This month at Marked Ministry we are featuring weddings and honoring the bride and groom in all aspects of what goes into a wedding celebration. It brought to mind this amazing parable about the 10 virgins and the bridegroom and how it beautifully mirrors the believer and Christ relationship. But, the sobering thought was the warnings about the foolish virgins who were found with no oil in their lamps and not watchful and consequently, they missed the bridegroom.
Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says in Luke 12:40 in the Amplified Bible Translation, “You too, be continually ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” Our prayer here at Marked Ministry is that you would be ready! Jesus used an analogy that He will come like a thief in the night.
In Revelation 16:15, in the New Living Translation, it says “Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief!” Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.” You ask how I prepare to be ready. If you would like to make the decision of salvation to be ready. You can pray something simple this:
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. Please forgive me. Come into my life. I receive you as my Lord and Savior. Now, help me to live for you. In Jesus’ name,
If you just prayed this prayer of salvation by faith; you can be assured that Jesus has heard your prayer and has come into your life. Welcome to the Family of God! (Our Bridegroom) You are ready!
“The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.”
– John 3:29 (ESV)
“And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.”
– Luke 12:40 (GNT)