The Story of Jesus

The Wise And Foolish Maidens

On the Mount of Olives Jesus told his disciples another story about the kingdom of heaven. He said, "It is like ten young women, who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of the young women were wise and five were foolish. All of them had been invited to the marriage of a friend.

"Together they started to meet the wedding party. Since the wedding was to take place at night, they took their lamps for light. The foolish five did not take oil for their lamps.

"The young women waited and waited. The wedding party was slow in coming. The young women became so tired that they fell asleep.

"About midnight someone called out, 'The bridegroom is coming. Go out to meet him.'

"At that the young women got up and trimmed their lamps so they would be ready to join the procession. The foolish five discovered that their oil was gone. 'What shall we do?' they cried. Then they turned to their friends and said, 'Please give us some of your oil, for our lamps have gone out.'

" 'We cannot give you oil, the wise young women answered. 'If we do, there will not be enough for us. Go and buy yourselves some oil.'

"The foolish young women had no choice. They went to buy oil. While they were gone, the wedding party came. The wise young women joined the party on the way to the bridegroom's house. 

"When all the guests were inside, the door was shut. Now no one else was welcome. The foolish young women arrived after the door was shut. They knocked and called out, 'Open to us.' But the bridegroom would not let them in. They had come too late."

Jesus told this story to teach the disciples that they must always be ready for his coming. They would never know when he would call for them to leave this world and go to be with him. If they were not ready when he called, they too would be shut out.

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