Jesus went on to tell another story to illustrate the heavenly regime that he was inaugurating. “It will be like ten young women -- bridesmaids -- who went out with their lamps to the road to wait for the groom and his wedding parade. 2-4 Five of them wisely planned ahead and carried containers of extra lamp oil. However, five of them foolishly failed to plan and neglected to take extra oil.
5 “As often happened, the groom was inexplicably delayed. And the young women became drowsy and dozed off to sleep. 6 But at midnight they were all jolted awake by the forerunner’s cry for them to join the matrimonial parade. The groom was just about there.
7-8 “All the women jumped up and trimmed their lamps. However, at that point the ill-prepared women noticed a problem and turned to the others in panic. ‘Please give us some of your oil. We’ve run out!’
9 But the wise women replied, ‘If we did that we’d run out of oil ourselves and the parade would go dark before arriving at the bride’s house. You need to go buy some more oil for yourselves.’
10 “But while the ill-prepared bridesmaids were out in the dark at midnight shopping for oil, the groom arrived. And those who were ready went with him into the wedding. The door was then shut and locked.
11 “Eventually the other women who had been shopping for oil arrived and began pounding on the door and calling out, ‘Master, we’re here. The festivities can begin. Open up and let us in!’
12 “But doorkeeper replied, ‘I most certainly don’t know who you are.’
13 “So, it would behoove you to stay awake and prepared. For there is no way to know the exact time when the wedding festivities will begin -- and you don’t want to miss out.”