I used to read this passage and think that it was a little bit cold of the wise virgins to refuse the foolish some of their oil. The call was sounded loud and clear, and all of them were awakened from their slumber. However, that wasn’t enough.
Due to the delay, their lamps had used a lot of the oil; more was needed. This was the single difference in what determined who was wise and who was foolish. The wise had also brought oil in vessels along with their lamps. The foolish “took no oil with them.”
Did they assume they would have enough? Did they view the wedding so carelessly that making it all the way wasn’t on their to-do lists?
Like I said earlier, I used to view the wise virgins’ response with confusion. I thought that giving of ourselves to others was essential to the faith. And it is. Then over the years I began to hear the parable with different ears.
“...buy for yourselves.” Don’t try to live off of another’s light, because there is coming a time when that will not be an option. This is personal. Yes, we need the encouragement and fellowship of other believers, but when it comes to the wedding—you have to get their on your own.
Jesus had spoken of John the Baptist as being the “burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.” We may enjoy basking in the glow of those who have paid the price for the oil, but that will not carry us all the way to the finish line. We must pay the price for ourselves.
It isn’t about how you start, but how you finish. Are you content with carrying your lamp and having just enough oil…or are you willing to pay the price to endure to the end? Are you willing to go through the pressing that produces more oil? Are you wise enough to understand that your light cannot possibly continue burning to the end without a continuous supply of His oil?
Buy for yourselves. It isn’t a cold statement, but a necessary one. I don’t want my lamp to grow dim as time passes, but to shine ever brighter till the full light of day. Let us be wise…let us be willing to pay the price.
Lord, I choose to bring a vessel filled with oil along with me on this journey. I do not know when You are coming back, but I know that I want to be ready. May time spent with You and Your Word through every trial, season, and storm produce oil that will continuously fill this vessel…causing Your Lamp to light my pathway to the end. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.