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CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE:
THE ARRIVAL AND THE JUDGMENT

[“Parousia-Judgment”]
(Key word: Judgment)

Matthew 25:1-12 – Judgment by the King and Ten Virgins

MT25:1 “At that time[1] the Realm of Heaven will become like[2] ten virgins[3] who took their lamps[4] to go to the meeting of the bridegroom.[5] MT25:2 But five of them were foolish and five wise. MT25:3 The foolish took their lamps but had no oil. MT25:4 The wise had oil in their lamps. MT25:5 Now when the bridegroom seemed to be taking his time[6] the ten virgins nodded into sleep.[7] MT25:6 In the middle of the night an outcry occurred:[8] ‘Look! the bridegroom! Be on your way to the meeting!’ MT25:7 Then all the virgins rose[9] and put their lamps in order. MT25:8 But the foolish asked the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil because our lamps are ready to go out.’[10] MT25:9 Now the wise virgins answered, ‘No, for perhaps there will not be enough for both of us.[11] Go now and buy oil[12] for yourselves from those who sell it.’ MT25:10 But while the foolish were off to buy oil the bridegroom arrived[13] and those who were ready entered with him to the wedding feast and the door was shut. MT25:11 Arriving late the foolish virgins begged, ‘Master, Master,[14] let us in!’ MT25:12 However, [the bridegroom] said: ‘I tell you this truth: I never knew you.’[15]

*

[1] At that time: The Greek is TOTE and records what happens during the period last mentioned: the judgment on the household when the master arrives.

[2] Realm of Heaven will become like: There is something about the Church and its membership which can be compared to these ten virgins at this particular prophetic moment.

[3] Ten virgins: The total or complete number of Christians on earth at the moment of the parousia. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:3.

[4] Lamps: Jesus has likened a lamp and the light it sheds as righteous works. See the notes on Matthew 5:14-16. The Word of God is likened to a “lamp” in Psalm 119:105 (Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19). The oil which fuels the lamp as the holy Pneuma (2 Samuel 22:29). It is God who lights the lamp (Psalm 18:28). Considering these and other texts the “lamp” is that opportunity and privilege to reveal the sacred truths which light our moral and prophetic way. It is that illumination which is needed to keep one focused on the Return of the King, the parousia.

[5] Meeting of the bridegroom: Jesus compares himself to a “bridegroom” at John 3:29. Paul uses similar language at 2 Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:29-33. In Revelation 19:7 and apocalyptic wedding is seen in vision. It occurs following the great oppression and the Parousia and precedes the Lamb’s battle with “the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 21:9)

[6] Seemed to be taking his time: Christians have longed for the Return of Christ as the Jewish ancients also asked “How long?” and “When?” for thousands of years. The Greek word here is CHRONIZONTOS and there is a related word in Habakkuk 2:3, “… though he should tarry wait for him.” Christians keep watching the prophetic horizon. Some read too much into this and in their presumptuousness (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) wrongly predict dates; others, read too little and become too involved in what Jesus calls “the anxieties of life.” (See the notes on Matthew 13:22) The whole thrust of the several parables beginning with Matthew 24:43 is to remain alert, awake and in read expectation. NEB: the bridegroom was late in coming. The opposite of modern weddings as the bride is traditionally late.

[7] Ten virgins nodded into sleep: Will there be a period of time, a moment in the history of the Gospel Age, when Christians in general become lethargic, indifferent, and spiritually asleep? Or is that time already here. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:26, 30.

“For as often as you may ever be eating the Loaf and be drinking the Cup you continue to announce the death of the Master until he should return.” (1Co 11:26 mhm)

“Because of this many among you are weak and sick, and a sufficient number of you are asleep.” (1Co 11:30 mhm)

[8] An outcry occurred: Someone is alert and rouses the “virgins” whether foolish or wise.

[9] All the virgins rose: Note “all” the virgins awaken. It is not a parable about two class: one asleep and one awake. They are both awake, but one group is ill-prepared.

[10] Our lamps are ready to go out: The lesson is one of preparedness. Only one who has been caught on a dark night without light knows the panic.

[11] Not be enough for both of us: A case where a Christian does not share.

[12] Buy oil: See Proverbs 23:23.

[13] The bridegroom arrived: Here is a key word which occurs often in several modes: ELTHEN, which means “came” or “arrived.” It is the same word which appears in Daniel 7:22 (LXX), “… until the Ancient of Days came.” Check the word groups in English came, arrive, coming. These are essentially synonyms for PAROUSIA. See notes on PAROUSIA in this commentary. For details on the Presence or Parousia of Christ see additional notes under these words or Matthew 24:3 (Matthew 24:3) in Nazarene Commentary©.

[14] Master, Master: An address some what limited to reactions at the Judgment. See notes on Matthew 7:21, 22 and Matthew 25:44 (Lamsa). One could make much of every detail of the parable but that may not be the intent. The moral is alert preparedness on the part of expectant disciples of the Nazarene.

[15] I never knew you: The meaning is possible: “I never had any kind of relationship with you.” Or, KNX: I do not recognize you. There will be those “Christians” who had the “name” but actually were not a true Friend of the Nazarene. Compare Revelation 3:1 (Luke 13:27).

““And to the angel of the congregation in Sardis write: This is a message from the One having the 7 pneumas of The God and the 7 stars. I am aware of your works–that you have the name you are alive, but you are dead.” (Re 3:1 mhm)

“And he will tell you: ‘I have no idea who you are or from where you came! Get away from me, all you workers of unrighteousness!’” (Lu 13:27 mhm)

+

Preceding

Matthew 25 Jesus ministry drawing to its dramatic conclusion and warning to be ready

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

Matthew 24:36-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: About That Day and Hour

Matthew 24:42-51 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Stay Awake!

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

Separation of local judgment regarding 70 CE from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and Final Judgment

++

Additional reading

  1. To be prepared and very well oiled
  2. Only once and with consequences

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