Moving on, we find the parable continuing…
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”
Quickly notice here a few things. We have ten virgins with their lamps, going forth to meet the bridegroom. They are waiting on the groom’s appearance, you see, in order to attend to Him, to honor Him, to praise and exalt Him.
They are identified by their purity – their virginity – and in their hands are lamps, lights with which to illuminate the darkness of the night.
We could spend days on the symbolism here in just this passage, but the takeaway is that they represent the Children of the Light, the gospel is their lamp, and not only does it shine forth illuminating the way for them, but by it others also may see.
There, in the dark of the evening, they stood, waiting on the imminent return of the bridegroom.
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, let me give you a bit of insight into the historic Jewish wedding, because the significance is staggering…
The process of marriage began with a betrothal, with potential groom leaving his father’s home to the home of his prospective bride, paying a price for her hand in marriage.
The bride, being aware of the price the groom paid for her hand in marriage, was accept this price as sufficient, in the process establishing the marriage covenant.
She was at that point sanctified, or otherwise set-apart specifically for her groom.
As for that groom, He returns to his father’s house where is is separated for perhaps as long as a year or more from His betrothed. While in is fathers home, the groom prepare a place for her.
After this, after a great deal of preparation, when the father has given permission, the son finally goes and gets his bride. With a shout of announcement, the bridegroom goes to fetch His bride!
This is followed by a wonderful celebration feast with many guests for seven days.
The virgins were waiting on the bridegroom, you see. I want you to think of how we – the church – await the return of the bridegroom. Keep that in mind as we move along…
“Waiting on the Bridegroom” returns next time…
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