Weddings in Jesus’ time
The weddings in Jesus’ time were conducted in the evening because people worked during the daylight. There was no street lighting in those days. The primary duty of virgins at weddings was to light the way for the bridegroom. The virgins were not there so that the bridegroom will have guests at his wedding banquet. Their presence at the wedding banquet was a reward for being out there to light the way for the bridegroom. At the weddings, during Jesus’s time, it was an honor to be out there with lamps to light the way for the bridegroom. For us today, the lesson in the story of ten virgins is; we do not qualify for the wedding banquet because we have the best and the brightest light, but because we are out there to light the way for the bridegroom with whatever light we have. Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. The yielded believers, therefore, reflect the Light of the world always, and in all places.
Often, Christians analyze the story about ten virgins with a goal to discover what is the crucial difference between the five wise and the five foolish ones. The story, however, does not identify a visible difference between the two groups of virgins. Ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All ten virgins concluded that the bridegroom is being delayed. Ten virgins fell asleep. Ten virgins awoke at the announcement that the bridegroom is coming. Ten virgins trimmed their lamps, and all the lamps were burning.
Therefore, there was no visible difference between the two groups of virgins. The five foolish, however, concluded they did not have enough oil to reach the place of the wedding banquet. There was no way to accurately determine how long the lamps would have continued to burn. The five wise virgins could not see the lamps going out because they were still burning. The critical difference between the two groups, therefore, is in something other than the lamps and oil.
The next blog will explore this