Matthew 25:1-13 – The Parable of the Ten Maidens


Matthew 25:1-13


In the Parable of the wise and foolish maidens Jesus’ instructs Matthew’s disciple community on the need for watchfulness, since it does not know the time of the return of the Son of Man.


This parable uses wedding imagery to describe the kingdom (see 22:1-14). This time it pictures ten maidens who go to meet the bridegroom. Five described as “wise” have prepared by bringing along extra oil for their lamps; five are described as “foolish” because they have not prepared for a time of waiting by bringing along extra oil. When their oil runs out and the wedding banquet finally begins, the foolish maidens are off buying more oil. The point of the parable is simple. It is not meant to instruct Matthew’s community about sharing or not sharing resources with one another. It is meant to repeat and to emphasize the one key point of Jesus’ concluding instruction: a wise disciple community is urged to watchfulness because it does not know the day or the hour of Jesus’ coming.