This message was part of the ‘For Such a Time as This’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Gorton in late 2017. The full series included the following sermons:
This sermon was based on Matthew 25:1-13.
The Parable of the Lamps
1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
What was a wedding like in Jesus’ day?
- Step 1: Woman finds man she wants to marry. Man and Bride’s father agree dowry price and sign paperwork. They are now married. (e.g. Mary and Joseph)
- Step 2: Groom goes away and gets the bride price (this may take a few years) comes back and consummates the marriage. (Jacob and Leah/Rachel)
- Step 3: Celebration (Wedding at Cana)
The Parable of the lamps
- This is a parable about what will be, not about what is or was.
- Jesus is the bridegroom coming to claim his bride, the church, having paid the bride price for her.
- Only those marked by salvation will be welcomed in.
- There is still time to prepare others, when you gain salvation doesn’t matter as long as you have it before Jesus comes.
- It is much better to be at a wedding when you know lots of people than only know the groom.