“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
Jesus’ warning to watch comes at the end of the famous parable of the 10 virgins. In Christ’s story, these 10 young women were waiting for the groom to come as part of a special Jewish wedding custom.
Five of the young women were wise and brought not just their oil lamps but some extra oil in case the groom took longer than they expected.
The five foolish ones didn’t bring extra oil, so late in the night when the groom came (representing Jesus Christ’s return), the foolish ones realized their lamps were going out. The oil was running out and the flame was about to be quenched. They tried desperately to find some more oil because they were not prepared for the delay. They were not welcomed into the celebration because they were unable to perform their wedding function of accompanying the bridegroom with the light of their lamps (representing entering the Kingdom of God).
This parable reinforces Christ’s admonition to watch and pray, continuously preparing to serve Christ and humanity in the Kingdom (Luke 21:36). We must not only watch world events for the fulfillment of end-time prophecies, but we must watch ourselves and prepare for His coming by seeking God’s Spirit and applying it.
We must grow in the fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). We must not quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19), but respond to it and use it to change our lives.
For more about how to receive and use the Holy Spirit, see “How Do You Know You Have the Holy Spirit?”