The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) is part of a private discussion between Jesus and the disciples about the end of the age. It is the second of three parables in a series which introduces two themes:
First, stay alert because you don’t know when He will return. Precisely because the hour, the day, the moment is unknown, pay attention to what is truly important.
Don’t think: “One of these days I’ll get serious about this ‘God-worship-prayer’ thing. One of these days I’ll consider faith, religion and all that stuff, but right now I have too many work deadlines. The kids have too many needs; I have 250 unread emails, and my car’s in the shop….I’ll get to it later.”
Instead put first things first. Today is the day to consider the things of lasting importance. Some day it will be too late.
The second theme in these parables is perseverance. Having considered eternal questions, how then you should live? Do you live as if there is a God who cares about righteousness? Do you live as if judgment is coming? Or do you live as if there is as if God won’t know or doesn’t care what you do and is never coming back to check?
What is the difference between the wise and foolish young women? The wise young women were prepared for a delay in the coming of the bridegroom. The crucial question for us is: what do we need to endure a delay?