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Thinking of the 10 virgins as a “gaggle of giggly girls” certainly put Jesus’ parable in a different light. It’s easy to understand why some would be prepared and others would not. It’s also easy to see that the unprepared would want to “sponge” off the one’s who had thought ahead. (I’m thinking now of trying to collect pizza money from a group of teenagers of either gender.) Those who are prepared are often expected to bail out those who are not.
As I contemplated the parable in this light, it began to take a different shape. Certainly Jesus is interested in the final judgement and the end of the world as we know it, however, he seems much more interested in how we live right now. The parables of the kingdom are about living in world as it is. What does it look like for the kingdom of God to break into our world today? What do Jesus’ instructions in living the kingdom life mean for right now?
In light of the parables of the kingdom, what was once a mysterious saying to me, now makes sense. “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old” (Matthew 13:52). Let Jesus’ instructions in the kingdom train your understanding of what to value and how to prioritize and you will be well prepared to live the kingdom life.