Being Ready: Matthew 25:1-13
I don’t know what you feel and think about this parable, but to me it was confusing to read it as it is this time. Stories can be read differently with different perspectives or different focuses. So, this time I had to wrestle with it a little bit.
Last week we talked about a sermon on the mount, the Beatitudes, the list of the blessed people. Today’s scripture is a sermon on a mount, too, but it is a different mountain, and the sermon has a very different tone. While the Beatitudes have a tone of hope and compassion, this parable has warning with the message ‘the door is closed’.
Let’s see the story and think about what we can imagine and what Jesus tells us today.
In Jewish weddings, at the time of Jesus, it was the custom for the groom to gather with his groomsmen. Together they would celebrate the wedding to come. And the bride would wait for the groom at her father’s house. There the bridesmaids, waiting for the groom, also would attend the bride. Usually at a late hour of the night someone would go out and cry, “Behold the bridegroom is coming, come out to meet him.” Then the bridesmaids would light their lamps and in a celebration parade would begin with the groom and the bride as she was taken from her father’s house to the groom’s house. As the bride entered the groom’s house the marriage was official. At the groom’s house they would celebrate with a feast, sometimes lasting for days.