27 August 2010

Matthew 25:1-13

"Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." (v.13)


Time is now running out for Christ as he approaches the end of his ministry and his life. So this passage comes with a sense of urgency and anxiety, possibly because Christ himself is feeling that he has not got much longer to get his message across and doesn't want his friends to regret missed opportunities later on.

So this parable (a story with a meaning) of the young girls with their oil lamps is timely and gives a rather delightful domestic scene that will attract the listeners in the crowd. Everyone knows the importance and significance of a wedding and no-one wants the occasion to be spoilt. So when some of the attendants fail to fill their lamps with oil before they rest, while waiting for the bridegroom, the audience can easily pick up the anxiety and urgency that the story attempts to convey.

The purpose of this story is that at anytime the Son of God might come and we have to be ready. Just like a bridegroom, who could turn up at any time, so too could God's son. So we must be ready, primed, watching and waiting, for when the call of God comes it will be sudden and unexpected.

To Ponder

We are called to love mercy, act with justice and walk with humility before God (see Micah 6:8). Could you account for yourself in these areas today if you were suddenly asked to?

How else can you prepare yourself for the coming of the Lord?

How do you think the Son of God will be revealed to you?

Bible notes author

Margaret Sawyer

Margaret Sawyer has worked for the Methodist Connexional Team for ten years, first as connexional secretary for Women's Network and then as the Church's equality and diversity officer. She now works to support preaching and worship in her local circuit and district.