The Parable of the Ten Virgins – Matthew 25:1-13 – Inductive Bible Study

Matt 25:1-13

1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  2 “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.  3 “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,  4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.  5 “Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.  6 “But at midnightthere was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’  7 “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.  8 “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’  9 “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’  10 “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.  11 “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘ Lord, lordopen up for us.’  12 “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’  13 ” Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour

  1. What title do you give to this parable?

Be Sure You Have Oil

Lamps Should Be Lights

Only the Lord Knows for Sure

Be Ready!

 Unknown Day and the Hour are

The Midnight Shout

The Door Was Shut

Please Open Up

Oil Cannot Be Shared

“I Do Not Know You”

  1. What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?

l        A wise man builds on Rock and a foolish man builds on sand

l        The sower

l        The Wheat and the Tares

l        The Dragnet

l        The two sons

l        The Wedding Feast

l        The faithful servant and the evil servant

l        The rich man and Lazarus

l        The Pharisee and the tax collector

  1. Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?

He was speaking to His disciples.

  1. What was the context for this parable?

Jesus is answering the disciples’ about events and timing of the end of the age.

  1. What are the main elements of the parable?
    • Ten Virgins
    • Lamps
    • Bridegroom
    • Five Foolish
    • Five Prudent
    • No Oil
    • Oil in Flasks
    • Bridegroom Delaying
    • Got Drowsy and Began to Sleep
    • Midnight
    • A Shout
    • Give Us Some of Your Oil
    • Lamps Going Out
    • No, There Will Not Be Enough
    • Go to the Dealers
    • Buy Some
    • Bridegroom Came
    • Ready
    • Went In
    • Wedding Feast
    • Door was Shut
    • Lord, Lord
    • Open Up
    • I Do Not Know You
    • Be On the Alert
    • You Do Not Know the Day or the Hour
  1. What does each of these elements represent?
    • Ten Virgins – Visible church (or possibly the Jewish nation)
    • Lamps – Good Works
    • Bridegroom – Jesus
    • Five Foolish – Professors, pretenders
    • Five Prudent – True believers
    • No Oil – No Holy Spirit
    • Oil in Flasks – Had the Holy Spirit
    • Bridegroom Delaying – The Church Age
    • Got Drowsy and Began to Sleep – Spiritual dullness, lost their zeal
    • Midnight – Death, the rapture, the Second Coming
    • A Shout –
    • Trimmed Their Lamps –
    • Give Us Some of Your Oil – Realizes their need
    • Lamps Going Out – Lack of preparedness is manifested
    • No, There Will Not Be Enough – Each must have his own relationship with the Lord
    • Go to the Dealers – Pastors, teachers, missionaries, evangelists
    • Buy Some – Get saved
    • Bridegroom Came – Jesus
    • Ready –
    • Went In –
    • Wedding Feast –
    • Door was Shut –
    • Lord, Lord –
    • Open Up –
    • I Do Not Know You –
    • Be On the Alert –
    • You Do Not Know the Day or the Hour –
  1. What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
    • The five foolish virgins appeared identically on the outside to the five wise virgins. The foolish virgins’ lamps made a nice show, but produced no light! In the end however, it doesn’t matter how others perceive us, but if we are truly ready to meet the Lord. His perception is always right and the only one that matters in eternity.
    • It is far more important to be right with the Lord than to appear to others to be right with the Lord
    • Jesus is coming back and  will return at an unexpected time.
    • Because it has been so long, it seems like Jesus is not coming back at all.
    • Each day should be lived as if it were my last.
    • The Holy Spirit cannot be shared. Each one must have his own relationship with the Lord.
    • Everyone wants to enter the wedding feast.
    • God ‘s gracious invitation will not last forever.
    • The ways of the world are utterly foolish. It makes no sense to carry the lamp, but have no oil!
    • The Lord does not know unbelievers, but only His own.
  1. Cross references to this parable?

Ruth 4:2

He took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.

Phil 2:14-15

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

Hab 2:3

3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time;

It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.

Though it tarries, wait for it;

For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

1 Thess 4:16-17

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout , with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Matt 7:21-23

21 ” Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  22 ” Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ 

John 10:14

14 ” I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,

Isa 55:6

Seek the LORD while He may be found;

Call upon Him while He is near.

Luke 13:24-25

24 ” Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  25 “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘ Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘ I do not know where you are from.’

Heb 12:15-17

15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

Matt 24:48-50

48 “But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’  49 and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards;  50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know,

Heb 10:36-37

36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.



2 Peter 3:4

4 and saying, ” Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

John 3:34

34 “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.

Rom 8:9

9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

2 Cor 1:22

22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

Matt 23:25-26

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.  26 “You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

2 Tim 3:5

holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Isa 55:1

1 Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;

And you who have no money come, buy and eat.

Come, buy wine and milk

Without money and without cost.

  1. Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.

Why do you think God waits such a long time for Jesus to come back for His own?

To demonstrate His patience

All the elect must be saved

He tries and tests the saints

How can we be ready for Jesus when He comes to take us to be with Him?

In what ways could the foolish virgins be distinguished from the wise virgins?

Why did the wise virgins not share their oil with the foolish virgins?

Why do you think that God does not reveal to us the day or the hour?

Why wouldn’t the Lord open up for them when they knocked?

  1. Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?
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