Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

The Ten Bridesmaids

Matthew 25:1-13

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - God Promises a Savior (Genesis 2:4-3:24)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 24:13

Opening Prayer

Jesus Will Come Back (Acts 1:9-11)
    What message of hope were we given the instant Jesus left the earth?
      Acts 1:9-11 = 2 angels promised that Jesus will come back
    Was this news to the apostles?
      John 14:2-3 = At Last Supper, J said, I will come back and take you to be with me
    Would this be news to people other than the apostles?
      Matthew 26:63-64 = No, Jesus told Sanhedrin He'd return from God's right hand
    Did the early church understand that Jesus would return?
      1 Corinthians 4:5 = Definitely

The World's Response (Luke 21:25-36)
    How will the people of the world react to Jesus' return?
      Luke 21:25-27 = They will be in anguish & perplexity, men will faint from terror
    Will those of us who live in Jesus be afraid when He returns?
      Luke 21:28 = No, we'll stand up and lift our heads
    Have God's people in the Bible typically stood up and lifted their heads before God?
      Exodus 3:6 = Moses hid his face when God spoke to him from the burning bush

    How will we be able to stand before this tremendous return of Jesus?
      1 John 2:28 = We will be confident and unashamed before Him
    How can we be confident and unashamed before Him knowing our sinful past?
      Psalm 130:3-4 = No one can stand except with His forgiveness
    How can we escape the dreadfulness of that day?
      Luke 21:34-36 = Be careful, be always on the watch, and pray
    How should we live while we are waiting for Jesus to return?
      2 Peter 3:11 = You ought to live holy and Godly lives

The Fullness of Time (1 Timothy 6:14-15)
    When will Jesus come back?
      1 Timothy 6:14-15a = God will bring about in His own time
    How is this similar to Jesus' first coming?
      Galatians 4:4-5 = Jesus came in the fullness of the Father's time
    How should we understand God's fullness of time?
      2 Peter 3:8-9 = God's day is like 1000 yrs, Lord is not slow, patient for all to repent

The Day and Hour (Matthew 24:36-41)
    How do we know the date and time when Jesus will return?
      Matthew 24:36 = Only the Father knows, not even angels or Jesus know
    Won't God warn us in time for people to prepare themselves?
      Matthew 24:37-39 = No, look at the example of the flood in Noah's time
    Will we have at least a few hours notice?
      Matthew 24:40-41 = No, people will busy with business as usual
    How much notice will we get?
      Matthew 24:27 = None, He will appear everywhere as quick as lightning

Keep Watch (Matthew 24:42-44)
    What does this not knowing when mean for our lives?
      Matthew 24:42 = We should keep watch
    What example did Jesus offer that is timely even today?
      Matthew 24:43-44 = Like homeowner prepares for thief

A Fable of Apprentice Devils
    Three apprentice devils were coming to earth to finish their apprenticeship.
      They were talking to Satan about their plans to tempt and ruin men.
    The first said, "I will tell them there is no God."
      Satan answered, "That won't delude many, for they know that there is a God."
    The second said, "I will tell men there is no hell."
      Satan said, "You'll deceive no one; men know even now that there is a hell for sin."
    The third said, "I will tell men there is no hurry."
      "Go," said Satan, "and you will ruin them by the thousands."

Plenty of Time? (Matthew 24:45-51)
    What example does Jesus give to point out the importance of staying steadfastly faithful?
      Matthew 24:45-47 = Servant put in charge while master is away, rewarded
    What if we tell ourselves there will be plenty of time to be faithful later?
      Matthew 24:48-50 = Our master will return when we don't expect Him
    What reward will be given to those who put off faith?
      Matthew 24:51 = Cut to pieces & sent where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth
    What was understood by the phrase weeping and gnashing of teeth?
      Psalm 112:10 = The hopeless despair of the wicked

Another Example (Matthew 25:1)
    What example from His culture did Jesus then give to further show the need to be prepared?
      Matthew 25:1 = Ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom

Marriage in Palestine
    Engagement - A man or his father would select a bride and negotiate with the woman's father
      A settlement was formalized by payment of a bride price to the bride's father
      Girls usually became engaged when old enough to have children
    Betrothal - A ceremony was then held in the house of the bride's parents
      A betrothal period would pass before the couple lived together, Usually around a year
      Betrothal was legally binding, Could only be broken by divorce
        If a man died during the betrothal period, the woman was considered a widow
    Marriage - The bridegroom and his friends went to fetch the bride from her father's house
      The bride's friends would meet the bridegroom & guide the way with lamps or torches
        The bridegroom could come at any time, day or night, on the specified day
        A man would first shout through the streets that the bridegroom was coming
      Bride in wedding dress & veil joined group in parade thru town to bridegroom's home
        Bride was given away with blessing from father or responsible relative
    Wedding Feast - Instead of a honeymoon, the couple would hold a huge feast and party
      Wedding festival would last days, up to a week
      Wedding feast included all relatives, neighbors and friends
        Guests were seated by the groom in order of importance
      Meals were as elaborate as family could afford, disgraceful not to have enough for all
      Doors were locked to keep out party crashers
        Only those with invitations or personally known by the groom could get in later

The Bridegroom and Bride (Matthew 25:1)
    Who would the Jews think of as the bridegroom and bride in this parable?
      Isaiah 54:5 = God and Israel
    Who do we as Christians understand to be the bridegroom and bride?
      Ephesians 5:22-29 = Jesus the Christ and the church
    What is the wedding feast?
      Matthew 22:1-2 = The kingdom of heaven

The Virgins (Matthew 25:2-4)
    Who are the ten virgins in this parable?
      Revelation 19:9 = Church members wanting to follow Jesus to His wedding feast
    What do we learn about these ten virgins?
      Matthew 25:2-4 = Five were wise & brought extra oil, Five were foolish and didn't

    What is the oil that some of the virgins had stored up?
      Matthew 6:20-21 = The treasures of heaven
    How does Jesus further explain the foolish virgins in the parable of the sower?
      Matthew 13:20-22 = People who become Christians but never mature
    Why should Christians store up extra oil by growing in faith and spiritual maturity?
      Hebrews 10:36-39 = Persevere in faith to get promise, Shrink back & be destroyed

You Can't Borrow Faith (Matthew 25:5-9)
    How does Jesus point out in this parable that His return will be a surprise?
      Matthew 25:5-6 = Came in the middle of the night; Virgins no longer alert, but asleep
    What happened when the virgins awoke and needed their oil of faith to join the bridegroom?
      Matthew 25:7-9 = The faith of the foolish ones wasn't strong enough to last the wait
    Shouldn't the virgins with extra oil have given some to the others so they could join the feast?
      Ezekiel 18:20 = You can't borrow faith and righteousness from another
    Is it a true analogy that someone could run out of oil and not be able to join the feast?
      Ezekiel 18:24 = If someone turns from faith, their earlier faithfulness will be forgotten

The Door is Closed (Matthew 25:10-13)
    What happened while the foolish virgins tried to make last minute preparations?
      Matthew 25:10 = The bridegroom came, wise virgins joined the feast, door was shut
    What happened when the foolish virgins tried to get in?
      Matthew 25:11-12 = They weren't allowed in, weren't known by the bridegroom
    Will people really be shut out of the feast of heaven?
      2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 = Yes, only His holy people, the faithful, will enter
    Will weakness of faith really result in being kept out of heaven's feast?
      Revelation 3:15-16 = The lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - will be spit out
    Isn't everyone who calls on the name of Jesus going to be saved?
      Matthew 7:21-23 = No, only those who do the Father's will and live in faith

    How does Jesus summarize the point of this parable?
      Matthew 25:13 = Keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour
    What other parable does Jesus offer that helps make this point?
      Matthew 7:24-27 = Wise man builds house on rock, foolish man builds on sand

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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