Daily Word

The foolish 5 | Matthew 25:1-13

1 “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids[ a ] who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6 “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’ 7 “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ 9 “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’

13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

Matthew 25:1-13 (NLT) 中文

More parables

Still on the topic of preparing for the end times, Jesus now continues with more parables. It should be noted that though there are many possible spiritual applications for this parable and a reader could derive many “hidden” meanings (like what the number 10 implies or what the significance of oil is), we need to keep it in the context. The clear purpose of the teachings in these chapters: the end time is coming; be ready. 

Jewish marriage

A bit of background on Jewish marriage of that time. “There were three stages to a Jewish wedding in that day. The first was engagement – a formal agreement made by the fathers. The second was betrothal – the ceremony where mutual promises are made. The third was marriage – approximately one year later when the bridegroom came at an unexpected time for his bride.” (enduringword.com) So this parable describes the 3rd.

You may ask…

Why didn’t the foolish 5 take extra oil? They knew the groom was coming. They just didn’t know how long. Maybe they assumed it would be quick, like most groom arrivals. 

Another question that comes up is, “Why didn’t the prudent ones share oil with the foolish 5? Why weren’t they loving?” I think the answer is in their name, the prudent/wise ones. They know that if they shared their oil, all of them would run out of oil. True, they could have sacrificed meeting the groom so the foolish could, but the purpose of the parable is not to teach morals but to be ready and prepared.


  • If you assessed yourself, would you be among the foolish five or the wise ones? Why? Leave a comment.
  • How can you prepare yourself for the groom (Jesus) coming? As we discussed before, it is going to happen, the Bible is clear. Choose today, even now, if you will be ready. If you desire to, click here.
Three stooges. Image from Pxfuel.com

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