12 Weeks of Prayer Week 5 Day 1
Which Five Are YOU? The Separation is Beginning.
By Rev. Dr. Teresa Citro
Founder and President of Thread of Hope
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, "Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!" Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, "Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out." But the wise answered, saying, "What if there isn't enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves." While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, "Lord, Lord, open to us." But he answered, "Most certainly I tell you, I don't know you." Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Mathew 25:1-13
To fully understand the meaning of this parable we must learn about the significance of Jewish Weddings of that day. There were three very significant practices that took place in three stages. Let’s look at them.
The first. “The engagement.” This was a formal agreement that was made by the fathers of the bride and groom. It is important to understand this was a legal document even if the couple lived at their parents’ house. They were married by law.
The second. “The betrothal.” This is when they made their promises to each other while remaining at their parents’ house.
The third. “The marriage.” This occurred approximately one year later or when the bridegroom was finished preparing the home for his bride. The bride never knew when that day would be. He showed up unexpected to take his bride home. Imagine the stress for the bride.
The virgins were, what we call today, bride maids. They were there to help and attend to the bride. It was their duty to go out and meet the bridegroom with their lamps lit. It was to accompany him, those who were with him, into the house and to the bride who was waiting for her bridegroom. The number of the virgins is significant as well. It is believed that there were ten lamps in a bridal procession which was a common size wedding party. We know this to be true