Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
25:1-13 The circumstances of the parable of the ten virgins were taken from the marriage customs among the Jews, and explain the great day of Christ's coming. See the nature of Christianity. As Christians we profess to attend upon Christ, to honour him, also to be waiting for his coming. Sincere Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones. Those are the truly wise or foolish that are so in the affairs of their souls. Many have a lamp of profession in their hands, but have not, in their hearts, sound knowledge and settled resolution, which are needed to carry them through the services and trials of the present state. Their hearts are not stored with holy dispositions, by the new-creating Spirit of God. Our light must shine before men in good works; but this is not likely to be long done, unless there is a fixed, active principle in the heart, of faith in Christ, and love to God and our brethren. They all slumbered and slept. The delay represents the space between the real or apparent conversion of these professors, and the coming of Christ, to take them away by death, or to judge the world. But though Christ tarry past our time, he will not tarry past the due time. The wise virgins kept their lamps burning, but they did not keep themselves awake. Too many real Christians grow remiss, and one degree of carelessness makes way for another. Those that allow themselves to slumber, will scarcely keep from sleeping; therefore dread the beginning of spiritual decays. A startling summons was given. Go ye forth to meet Him, is a call to those prepared. The notice of Christ's approach, and the call to meet him, will awaken. Even those best prepared for death have work to do to get actually ready, 2Pe 3:14. It will be a day of search and inquiry; and it concerns us to think how we shall then be found. Some wanted oil to supply their lamps when going out. Those that take up short of true grace, will certainly find the want of it one time or other. An outward profession may light a man along this world, but the damps of the valley of the shadow of death will put out such a light. Those who care not to live the life, yet would die the death of the righteous. But those that would be saved, must have grace of their own; and those that have most grace, have none to spare. The best need more from Christ. And while the poor alarmed soul addresses itself, upon a sick-bed, to repentance and prayer, in awful confusion, death comes, judgment comes, the work is undone, and the poor sinner is undone for ever. This comes of having oil to buy when we should burn it, grace to get when we should use it. Those, and those only, shall go to heaven hereafter, that are made ready for heaven here. The suddenness of death and of Christ's coming to us then, will not hinder our happiness, if we have been prepared. The door was shut. Many will seek admission into heaven when it is too late. The vain confidence of hypocrites will carry them far in expectations of happiness. The unexpected summons of death may alarm the Christian; but, proceeding without delay to trim his lamp, his graces often shine more bright; while the mere professor's conduct shows that his lamp is going out. Watch therefore, attend to the business of your souls. Be in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
Open unto us - This is not to be understood as implying that any will come after the righteous shall be admitted into the kingdom, and claim admission then. It is a part of the parable to illustrate the general truth inculcated, or to prepare the way for what is afterwards said, and to keep up the narrative and make it consistent.
11. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us—In Mt 7:22 this reiteration of the name was an exclamation rather of surprise; here it is a piteous cry of urgency, bordering on despair. Ah! now at length their eyes are wide open, and they realize all the consequences of their past folly. See Poole on "Matthew 25:13"
Afterwards came also the other virgins,.... The "other five virgins", as the Persic version reads. The "other"; that were only virgins in name, not in reality; they were different from the wise, they were foolish ones; they were other than those that were ready, they were unprepared ones; and in another situation than those that entered in; they were without, they were now separated from the company of the wise virgins, with whom they had been so long; and what was worst of all, they were to be so for ever. These "also came"; from buying oil: they went about, and came just as they went without any; they came to the door of the bridechamber, being desirous to be let in, and hoping to partake of the marriage feast, and join in the solemnity: but alas! they came too late, they came "afterwards"; after the bridegroom was come, after they that were ready had entered in, and after the door was shut;
saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. They do not call him their Lord, for they had no interest in him, nor could they claim any; though the Syriac version reads it, "our Lord, our Lord": they give him the title, and the bare title, without having yielded that obedience, which was due unto him. They double the word, to show their importunity, earnestness, sense of danger, and confusion: this title or character is the rather used, because Christ will then appear more clearly to be Lord and God, and every tongue shall confess him to be such: their request to him is, that he would "open" the door unto them, and let them in: they were sensible that the door was shut, and that none but Christ could open it; they did not at once conclude that their case was desperate, but were willing to hope the door might be opened, through their entreaties, and what they had to say for themselves; for though no pleas or arguments are here mentioned, yet, as elsewhere, such as these will be made by the foolish virgins; namely, prophesying in the name of Christ, casting out devils in his name, doing many wonderful works in his name, hearing his word preached, and eating and drinking in his presence; but all in vain, and to no purpose. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 25:11
, etc., master, master, open to us; a last, urgent, desperate appeal, knocking having preceded (Luke 13:25
) without result. The fear that they are not going to be admitted has seized their hearts.11
. Lord, Lord, open to us
] Cp. ch. Matthew 7:22-23
. Αἱ λοιπαὶ παρθένοι
, the other virgins
) To whom the name of virgins was now of no avail.Verse 11.
- Lord, Lord, open to us.
They apply to the bridegroom himself as now taking the direction of affairs. So when Christ the spiritual Bridegroom comes, he rules over all. Here, as elsewhere in the parable, the great spiritual reality shines through the earthly delineation. Whether the five foolish ones obtained oil or not at this late hour matters nothing; they were too late to do that which they had to do, too late to join in the bridal procession, and thus procure admission to the festival. Their piteous cry is not answered as they hoped. It is too late to ask for mercy when it is the time of vengeance. In this present state of grace we have the comforting injunction, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you;" in the day of retribution the door is shut, and no knocking will unclose its barred portal. True it is that "not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father."
Applying directly to the bridegroom, whose will was supreme, now that he had arrived at the bride's residence.
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