In the time of Jesus there were two parts to a wedding. The Bridegroom and his friends would leave his house and go to claim his Bride from her parents. Then the Bride and the Groom would return to the Groom’s house for the marriage feast. These verses are linked with the return of the Lord Jesus to earth one day. Christian believers have known for over 2,000 years that Jesus will come again, yet many Christians show little excitement or even know much about this event. The oil for burning the lamps reminds us of the special oil used in the Tabernacle – Ex. 27:20-21. In the Bible oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, but in this context it could be a symbol of the word of God too. It is the Church’s task even in 2018, to “hold forth the Word of life” in this dark world…. Phil. 2:12-16.
Sadly, in the parable of the bridesmaids half were unable to light their lamps due to lack of oil! It was those who had oil and could light their lamps who could join the wedding feast. Perhaps this suggests that not all professing Christians will enter heaven, for some have not truly trusted Jesus Christ. Remember that without the Spirit of God and the Word of God there can be no true salvation. Jesus concludes with the command to watch for his return:- “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” 25:13. We should pray regularly that we are WATCHING and WAITING in the right way for His return.
Did you know a “Talent” was a large sum of money not a coin? One talent was possibly worth 20 years’ wages! In this story each servant was given a different amount of money. The man with much ability was given 5 talents, the man with average ability received 2 talents and the man with minimal ability had 1 talent. Wiersbe suggests the “talents” represent opportunities to use our abilities. If 5 talents had been given to the servant with the least ability, he could have been overwhelmed with the responsibility. God has given us certain abilities and opportunities to use wisely for his glory and purposes. The two who invested their money were rewarded, but the least able man was too afraid to fail, so didn’t even try! Fear of failure can often hold us back in our walk with God but he doesn’t want us to carry fear. Paul wrote to Timothy saying, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Tim. 1:7
Lord, grant us a spirit of wisdom, boldness and courage to hold forth the word in this dark world. Amen.