Parable of 10 virgins & marriage feast of the lamb


Please explain the parable of the ten virgins and the marriage feast of the lamb.


In the Lord’s parable (Matthew 25:1-13) He likens the kingdom of heaven unto ten virgins waiting for the commencement of the marriage, five being wise and five foolish. Briefly put my understanding is as follows:

First of all I understand that in God’s program with Israel being justified unto eternal life and having entrance into the kingdom when it is established are not the exact same thing. One would have to be justified in God’s sight to have entrance into the kingdom, but just because an Israelite, for example, is so justified does not guarantee him immediate entrance into the kingdom. Rather, immediate entrance into the kingdom and participation in its glories and blessings is a reward for the faithfullness of a justified Israelite. There is therefore the real possibility for a justified Israelite to be denied immediate entrance into the kingdom once it is established, if his service to the Lord has not been faithful and so worthy of being given immediate entrance.

This real possibility is something that the Lord deals with on a number of occasions and in a number of parables, including those in Matthew 25.

With respect to Matthew 25:1-13, my understanding is that the Lord is amplifying upon this very real possibility and illustrating it, especially in view of the fact that in 24:42-51 He has just warned His disciples about becoming victims of it during the pressures and temptations of the tribulation period to come. As He said in 24:45, He wants them to be “faithful” and “wise” servants during that time, in connection with the responsibilities that He is entrusting them to fulfill during that time. And they need to be both “faithful” and “wise,” for that is the only way that they will be rewarded by Him when He returns. If they are so “faithful” and “wise,” then He will respond to them by giving them positions of rulership. However, if they are not “faithful” and “wise,” but “evil” in their thinking and conduct, then such will be separated from those who are faithful, and they will be ‘appointed their portion with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (By the way, I understand that there are two separate and distinct places where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” One is the “furnace of fire” for the unjustified. But the other is “outer darkness,” which is not the same place. Rather it is the issue of being outside the light of the land of Israel once the kingdom is established. And it is this issue of being outside the land of Israel’s glorious kingdom that is the “portion” that is appointed unfaithful and unwise members of the remnant of Israel once the kingdom is established.

Having then set forth this warning to His disciples in 24:42-51, the Lord then goes on in Matthew 25 and sets forth two parables that amplify upon, and illustrate, the issues of being “faithful” and “wise”; along with the opposite issues of being “unfaithful” and “unwise.” (Hence the Lord’s opening words in 25:1 being, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto…) The first parable of the 10 virgins awaiting the commencement of the marriage amplifies upon and illustrates the issues of being “wise” and “unwise” (or “foolish”). The second one in verses 14-30 particularly amplifies upon and illustrates the issues of being “faithful” and “unfaithful” (or “slothful”).

As is illustrated by the actions of the five “foolish” virgins, they were “foolish” for not taking heed to the time-factor and patience-factor involved in waiting for the commencement of the marriage. And as such they were not “ready” when bridegroom returned for the marriage. (Just as can be the case with any one of the disciples who does not pay attention to the time-factor and patience-factor doctrines the Lord taught concerning the final installment in Israel’s program and His return at the end of it.) Due to their lack of wisdom, the five “foolish” virgins are denied entrance into the marriage. Which is just what will be the case with a similarly “foolish” member of the remnant of Israel. The Lord will deny any of His “foolish” servants immediate entrance into His kingdom. Instead for a time they will be on the outside looking in, so to speak.

That’s the gist of my understanding. I hope it is of some help.

Keith Blades

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