4 Moral Lessons from The Parable of the Ten Virgins

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is based upon Jewish marriage customs at the time the parable was written. The parable is filled with Christian symbolism and is a cautionary story about being prepared for Christ’s coming. The parable is found in Matthew 25:1-13.

Parable of the Ten Virgins Summary

Ten bridesmaids (virgins) were to await the return of the bridegroom for his wedding. The bridegroom’s arrival was later than expected. The five wise bridesmaids who had brought extra oil to keep their lamps burning into the night greeted the groom when he arrived. The other five bridesmaids hadn’t brought extra oil, so when the groom arrived, the foolish young ladies were gone to get more oil. The doors to the wedding banquet were closed before the five unprepared bridesmaids returned and they were not allowed entry.

Parable of the Ten Virgins Lady holding lamp

Parable of the Ten Virgins Meaning

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is a reminder to be prepared for the unexpected second coming of Christ, when we will face eternal judgment. The wise are prepared and ready for Christ’s return. The foolish don’t prepare themselves for the final judgment and will find themselves shut out of God’s Kingdom.

Parable of the Ten Virgins Explained

The ten virgins in the parable represent Christians. They are waiting for the return of Christ, the groom. The five prepared bridesmaids brought extra oil, which is the grace from their solid relationship with the Lord. When the groom’s arrival was later than expected, the prepared ladies were drained and sleepy. It was at this low point that their grace (the extra oil) carried them through and they were rewarded splendidly at the wedding feast, or the Kingdom of Heaven. Meanwhile, the unprepared five found themselves scrambling for more oil and ran out of time before they could be fully prepared for the groom’s arrival, meaning Christ’s return. The doors to the wedding banquet were closed without them, shutting them out of heaven. The moral of the parable is found in Matthew 25:13 NIV: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Moral Lessons from The Parable of the Ten Virgins

The following Parable of the Ten Virgins Reflection walks through four lessons about salvation.

Be Like the Wise Virgin:

Sincere Christians are the wise virgins and the foolish ones are hypocrites. Hypocrites profess their love of God and show many outward signs of being faithful to Christ, but the truth is only found within. We might try to fool one another or even ourselves into thinking we’re living for Christ, but God is never fooled. He sees if we have a bitter or hollow heart. He knows if our words and actions are for show. Time will run out for each of us one day. Don’t be caught off guard and unprepared. Pave your way now with a heart, mind, and soul aligned to God before your time runs out. Your eternal resting place depends on it.

Be Prepared to Wait:

The ladies anticipated the groom to come earlier than he did. So it is with us and Christ. Our idea of perfect timing sometimes differs from His idea of perfect timing. But trust that His timing is truly perfect. In His timing, we’re often called to wait. Don’t let the waiting time lull you into a false sense of having endless time. Don’t be fooled that you can wait and still be prepared when it matters, because you don’t know when that time will be. We must prepare our hearts and souls for the long haul. That includes developing a personal relationship with the Lord, discerning His will for our lives, leading where He follows, and loving one another. None of these things can happen the moment we realize our time on Earth is ending. Lead your life as if the end is today, but be prepared to wait.

There is a Judgment to Come:

There are people who deny a final judgment, the presence of hell, or the irrevocable nature of hell. But God makes all these things very clear numerous times in the Bible.  

One example is in Matthew 25:46 NIV: Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

There is evil in the world. It lurks among us. It tempts us away from God. It leads us to worldly goals, pleasures, and actions.

We often dismiss or dislike the term the fear of the Lord, but a healthy reverence for the power and authority of God can help us resist evil and stay vigilant in our Christian walk while we wait for our final judgment. The foolish bridesmaids weren’t vigilant and they paid the ultimate price.

You are Welcome to the Banquet of Christ:

We don’t like hearing about the judgment of God. It makes us uneasy and maybe even fearful. But God didn’t create us with the intention of sending us all into the fire. What loving parent would do such a thing? No, God’s intention is to welcome us all into His heavenly Kingdom to live with Him forever. However, He lovingly left the choice to us. That’s our free will. We can choose to live our lives any way we wish. If we choose to turn our backs on God, He lets us, even through His disappointment. If we turn to Him, He welcomes us with open arms. God gives us every opportunity to come to Him. Your salvation is His greatest wish.

What is the oil in the Parable of the Ten Virgins?

The oil in the Parable of the Ten Virgins represents God’s grace. Our heart is the vessel that holds the oil.

Why didn’t the five virgins share their oil?

As Christians, we’re called to help those in need, so you might wonder why the five virgins who brought extra oil didn’t share it. In this case, the context and moral of the Parable of the Ten Virgins is spiritual preparedness. With the oil representing God’s grace, the ladies couldn’t give it away. We cannot give grace or spiritual readiness to another person. Each person’s relationship with the Lord must be established within their own heart and soul.

Matthew 25 Commentary

You may find this commentary of Matthew 25 from Matthew Henry’s Commentary helpful for more interpretation and insight. I referenced it for guidance in this article. Here is a selection of other free Bible Commentaries.

More Parables!

Do you love the parables as much as I do? You may enjoy reading life lessons on these others, these activities for adults and children, or this list of Parables and Meanings:

Photo by Rheyan Glenn Dela Cruz Manggob from Pexels

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4 thoughts on “4 Moral Lessons from The Parable of the Ten Virgins”

  1. Kumbe, SoBarikor

    Type here..Profound thoughts. May God Almighty enable me to be ready. Let me be like a branch of a vine tree which bears fruit and is thus pruned so that it can bear more fruits. A fruitless branch is cut off and cast into the fire and burned. May His grace be effective in my life.

  2. My name is Alan Finch. JESUS my Lord and Saviour in April of 1976.

    What really stands out to me about the 10 virgins in the parable that JESUS gives in the 25th Chapter of Matthew , is the fact that these 10 virgins who are engaged to Christ are Believers in Christ. Only Believers in Christ can become engaged to Christ.

    Once we have this understanding, then we then realize that this parable of JESUS is revealing to us that not All Christians will rule & reign with Christ.

    The Scriptures paint a picture for us of Christ being the Bridegroom of His Church which is made up of Believers in Christ portrayed as virgins.

    There are a number of truths to be uncovered in this parable. I will attempt to explain the main point of this parable that JESUS wants Believers in Christ to come to an understanding of.

    These 10 virgins in this parable were “engaged” to Christ, the Bridegroom. Only virgins which in this parable are representative of Believers in Christ, are “engaged” to Christ.

    At the end of this present Age, JESUS will return to marry in the Spirit, His Bride, which is representative of His Church, which is made up of Believers in Christ. The “engagement period” for ALL Believers in Christ, from ALL Ages, will finally have come to an end.

    In this parable, 5 of the virgins that were “engaged” to Christ were faithfully prepared for His return, because not only did they know JESUS as their Saviour, but they knew JESUS as their Lord, because they had submitted themselves to His Lordship.

    The other 5 virgins who were also “engaged” to Christ, were not faithfully prepared for the Lord’s return, because they only knew JESUS as their Saviour. They did not know JESUS as their Lord, because they never submitted themselves to His Lordship.

    So, the underlying message of this parable is: JESUS wants Believers in Christ to come to the understanding that being “engaged” to Him does not guarantee our becoming married to Him in the Spirit at the end of this present Age.

    It will only be the faithful “engaged” Believers in Christ who have prepared themselves for His return by their submission to His Lordship that will be married to JESUS in the Spirit at the end of this present Age. These will be the Believers in Christ who will rule & rein with Him.

    The bottom line is that in this parable JESUS is declaring that the door WILL BE SHUT to Believers in Christ who do not come under His Lordship, which will result in them not being allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God in the next Age to rule & reign with Him. The DOOR WILL BE SHUT to these Believers in Christ. However, at some point and time, they will be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God, but they will not rule & reign with Christ.

    I have written a 31 page document in which I Biblically expound a great deal more on this, and Biblically expound extensively on the subject of eternal life. If anyone would like a copy, just email me at: ([email protected]) and I will email you a copy.

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