Last Sunday 2022 (Mt 25, 1–13)

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Jesus said, “Watch, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”

᛭ INI ᛭


Jesus is warning you today. Now, there’s also some encouragement along with some comfort in His Parable of the Ten Virgins. But we can’t ignore the warning. That wouldn’t be safe. It’s dangerous to ignore a warning, especially from Jesus.

It’s a pretty simple warning, too. Most warnings are. Whoever’s given the warning doesn’t want to be misunderstood, doesn’t want anyone to miss it. Same here. “Watch, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” What day? What hour? “When the Son of Man is coming.”

You don’t know when Jesus is going to come back, just like the virgins didn’t know when the Bridegroom was coming. (Jesus is the Bridegroom.) When you think about Jesus’ warning and connect it to the parable, it’s pretty easy to figure out Jesus’ warning. (Coin toss if we’ll listen.) So, let’s rework Jesus’ warning. Let’s make it even simpler with language from the parable itself. So, here it is:


(4. Ugh!: That’s exactly what the devil and our flesh want!)

But that’s exactly what the devil wants for you! He wants you to end up without oil by the time Jesus returns. The devil wants you to run out of the Holy Spirit. He wants you to grieve the Holy Spirit, to resist Him, to “quench (σβέννυμι) the Holy Spirit” as Paul says.

The symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Bible is oil. Christ was “anointed with the oil of gladness,” (Ps 45) “the Spirit of Yahweh was upon Him”, He was “anointed to preach.” (Is 61) As David and Isaiah prophesy. This is also why the Spirit came upon Saul and David after they were anointed King. (1 Sam 10 & 16)

So, the devil wants you empty. He doesn’t want you to have any oil. He wants you to run out of ammo. He doesn’t want you to have the Life of Christ. He wants you not to have the Spirit. “We have received the gift of the Spirit by faith.” So if the devil can’t trick you into leaving the Spirit behind, he’ll crack your flask of oil, “shipwreck your faith.” (1 Tim 1:19) A little drip here. A little drip there. Eventually no oil, no Spirit, no life, no faith.

But the devil doesn’t do anything that our flesh doesn’t already do on its own. None of those foolish virgins thought they’d be the ones running out of oil. “That’ll never be me.” That’s what we all think! Your flesh thinks it’s wise in itself, that it knows better than the Lord Jesus, that it can listen to His warning later. “Where is the promise of His coming,” anyway?

Little bit, by little bit their torches dried out. Finally, “Our torches our going out (σβέννυμι),” they cry! Looking at ourselves and our actions, we arrogantly think “that won’t be me.” The Lord’s patience is long but limited. Eventually there was no hope for them, for anyone who grieves the Holy Spirit. Even you. Just like with Esau: “when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.” (Heb 12) “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you,” is what the bridegroom will say. Will it be to you?

(3. Aha!: This isn’t what Jesus wants—hence His warning!)


That’s what the devil wants. Our sinful nature is kind of okay with it, too, because it thinks “that’ll never be me.” (Like we’ve never been wrong on that before…) We don’t set out to, but it’s the consequence of our actions…

But you know who doesn’t want you to end up without oil? Jesus! I mean, come on! Jesus the Bridegroom doesn’t want you to end up with out oil, and that’s why He warns you! It’s why He tells you this parable today. The reason Jesus says, “Watch, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour;” the reason He says, “THE BRIDEGROOM’S COMING, DON’T END UP WITHOUT OIL!” is precisely so you don’t!

(2. Whee!: Bridegroom Jesus has the Spirit without measure.)

The Good News about Bridegroom Jesus isn’t just that He doesn’t want that to happen, hence the warning. It’s that He actively does something about it. He doesn’t stand on the sidelines and expect you to figure it out for yourself.

He is most bridegroom when He gives His life for His Bride, the church. When He’s dying for sins, that’s when He’s bridegroom. That’s what Ephesians 5 is all about. That’s a theme in John’s Gospel, too. So that means, on the Last Day He comes as the crucified and raised bridegroom. Not only that, when Jesus dies, John says, “He bowed his head and gave up [the] Spirit.” (τὸ πνεῦμα)

Not only that, Jesus is the one who “has the Spirit without measure.” Since Jesus is the eternal Son of God, there’s no limit to the amount of Holy Spirit Jesus has. So He is the “full-of-the-Spirit” Bridegroom who dies and rises for His bride the Church. He sends out His Spirit to “call, gather, enlighten, and sanctify us” for the eternal wedding feast.

(1. Yeah!: Jesus gives out the Spirit without measure.)

Pay attention to Jesus’ warning: THE BRIDEGROOM’S COMING, DON’T END UP WITHOUT OIL! But you don’t actually have to worry about it. Because not only does Jesus “have the Spirit without measure,” as John tells us. But He also gives out the Spirit without measure.

You don’t have to wonder about where to get it either. There’s no need to wonder if the Lord will answer the someone disconcerting prayer, “Give me oil in my lamp. Keep me burning.” The Lord is very clear about where and how you get the oil.

The Spirit is delivered in Holy Baptism. (Acts 2, Titus 3, John 3) The Spirit is present and active in the Bible (2 Tim 3; 2 Pet 1). The Spirit is present and active in the preaching of the Gospel. (Rom 10) The Spirit is present whenever the Bible is taught. (1 Tim 4) The Spirit is present wherever Jesus’ words are heard! (John 6) The Spirit is present in the body and blood of Jesus along with His Words of Institution (John 6)! Those are full of oil. Each more full of oil than you can burn up in your little lifetime.

Don’t fall into foolish virgin thinking! That’s the warning. You don’t know when He’s coming back. The foolish had their excuses: “I’ve got enough. It’s too much sacrifice to bring oil. It’ll take too much effort, time to have it with me. I’ll never run out. I’ll never be left out.” Whatever they were, “The foolish took no oil, but the wise took flasks of oil with their torches.” For the wise there was never enough it seems. They’d always want more, get more oil.

“Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8)


Through His Word and Gifts, He’s making sure you won’t.

᛭ INI ᛭

Total Words:    1273
Outline Words:60
Final Words:    1213

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