In the parable of the ten virgins, we have seen that the lamps represent God’s word that He has given to men so that they might not stumble in darkness; see Psa 119:105, 2Pe 1:19. The oil represents the Holy Spirit that is the fuel which allows that lamp to shine brightly in times of spiritual darkness—such as the times that Jesus gave as a sign that would indicate His coming was near; see Mat 24:9-10,23-24,29,37-39; cf. Mat 24:13-14, 13:41-43, Dan 12:3, Phil 2:14-15. We have also seen that the ten virgins represent those who would come to the wedding feast God has prepared to be united with Christ in a covenant relationship and so become a part of His bride. At the same time they also represent more specifically those who are like bridesmaids in preparing the Bride for the marriage supper—those first fruits to the Lamb from any age whom He has put in charge of His household to give them their rations of spiritual food at the proper time. In this context and the context of the warning in the immediately previous parable (see Mat 24:45-51), what is the significance that they all took their lamps to go out and meet the Bridegroom? Think: How many people today, including preachers and teachers, suppose that because they have the lamp of God’s word they have nothing to worry about in regard to spiritual darkness? But as the parable illustrates, just because one has the lamp of God’s word, does that necessarily mean it will provide its light when the Bridegroom appears in a time of great darkness and they need to go out and meet Him so they may be admitted to the wedding feast? See Mat 25:10-12; cf. Mat 4:5-6, Jam 2:19. Even if one is admitted to the wedding feast, does that necessarily mean that they will not be cast out? See Mat 22:11-14.
Are we to understand that some of the lamps had no oil at all in them (Mat 25:3), or that they all had an initial supply of oil, but some just didn’t have an extra supply? See Mat 25:4,8. Although all ten virgins awaiting the Bridegroom understood that He would come at night so that they took their lamps and an initial supply of oil, what did some of them not allow for so that they gave no thought to an extra amount of oil they might need as they went out to meet the Bridegroom? See Mat 25:5-6; cf. Mat 24:44,48. How is that like so many of God’s people throughout history, including today, who have not counted upon the Lord delaying to come until long into the night when men are fully engulfed in darkness? What is the two-fold effect among God’s people of such a delay as the darkness of sin deepens over the world? See Mat 25:5; cf. 2Pe 3:3-4. Was it just the foolish virgins who got drowsy and began to sleep? Again, how is that just like God’s people throughout history, including today? Is it possible, as in the parable, that we have all become drowsy and begun to sleep in regard to the righteous requirements of the gospel? Cf. Rom 8:3-11.
What sort of people does the Bible describe as being spiritually asleep as opposed to those who are spiritually awake? See Rom 13:11-14, 1Th 5:4-8; cf. Eph 5:8-14. How is this also related to the oil of the Holy Spirit running out for some who would come to the wedding feast? See Rom 8:14 and think: As the spirit of the world leads a person into worldliness, where does God’s Spirit of holiness lead one? Cf. Mat 5:16. How are those who don’t have an extra supply of oil like those described as rocky or thorny soil in the parable of the sower, who saw initial growth, but then fell away or were choked with weeds and so brought forth no fruit (Mat 13:5-7,20-22)? Like these, will those who don’t have a full supply of the oil of God’s Holy Spirit find their way into the wedding feast to bring forth the fruit of the seed of God’s word?
How does the parable refer to those virgins who did not consider that the Bridegroom might delay and so did not think to take along extra oil for their lamps, and how does that contrast with the description of those who did? See Mat 25:2-4 and notice that the NAS prudent is most often translated as wise. What had Jesus already taught in regard to the wise and foolish that also relates to a shortage of the oil of God’s Spirit to give heed to His words and walk in righteousness? See Mat 7:24-27. See also Eph 5:14-18 and cf. Pro 21:20. How did Jesus also describe the faithful slave in the previous parable who gave the other members of His household their food at the proper time? See Mat 24:45 and notice that the Greek word translated as sensible there by the NAS is the same word translated in Mat 25:2 as prudent or wise; cf. the KJV. How does this help us to understand what is especially the proper time for a wise servant to give the other members of the Lord’s household their rations of spiritual food to keep them from growing weary in doing good in times of evil when darkness surrounds? See Mat 24:46, 25:6; cf. Isa 32:5-6, Gal 6:9. In regard to this understanding of the wise and foolish and the oil, what is the significance of Ecc 10:2 to how we see these things manifested even in the politics of our own day? Cf. Mat 25:33.