1. When packing for a plane trip are you ready days in advance with everything folded neatly in its place, or are you more of a last-minute guy who throws it all in a bag a half hour before you leave for the airport? Is it any different for you with a car trip? How?


The “Ten Virgins” is the first of three parables in Matthew 25 where Jesus describes the unpredictable characteristics of the kingdom of heaven and the unknowable nature of God’s plan. Weddings were a five-day ritual where on the first day the groom and his friends would travel in procession to the bride’s father’s house. They would fetch the bride and return to the groom’s parent’s house to meet up with the others. That first evening would be a celebration late into the night, followed the next day by a feast and the wedding itself. How these maidens were prepared to wait through unforeseen circumstances is today’s focus.

God’s Story

Have someone read aloud Matthew 25: 1-13.


Finding My Story in God’s Story

2. When you hear predictions about the end of the world, how do you react?

  • I figure I’ve got time, so I ignore them.
  • I panic and do all I can to avert the disaster.
  • I calmly get my affairs in order, just in case.
  • I work all the harder to get the word out.
  • Other __________.

3. Suppose you are one of the foolish virgins. You woke up to realize you’re out of oil. You have no choice but to go buy some. While you are away, the door gets shut and you miss the boat. If you were one of them, what excuses would you have used?

  • I was there at the right time and place, why should I be singled out?
  • The wedding party took too long to show up!
  • Those other virgins were selfish and wouldn’t share!
  • That’s not fair, everyone fell asleep, not just me!
  • I work all the time and have no time to buy oil.
  • Other __________.

4. The virgins who were short of oil soon learned that they couldn’t borrow from their friends. When have you tried to live off the “oil” of someone else’s faith?

  • When my relationship with God was dependent on my parents.
  • When the pastor said I was fine, and I simply believed it.
  • When my friend found God, I lived vicariously off him.
  • I’m in a church where everyone believes, so others assume that I do.
  • Other __________.

5. Think about a specific time in school or work when you did almost all the right things for success, but you missed the deadline and an opportunity closed. In retrospect, what might you have done differently?

  • Started paying attention and taking notes.
  • No more binge-watching TV the night before.
  • Done my (home)work to better understand what’s going on.
  • Done the required reading to better prepare for the test.
  • Other __________.

6. What implications from this kingdom parable make you uncomfortable?

  • The door to the wedding party with Christ will close at some point.
  • God invites everyone in, but some will inevitably miss out.
  • The Second Coming of Christ will happen at a time we least expect.
  • Waiting and watching is work, and I’m not sure I’ll be “up” for it.
  • Other __________.


Our Story

7. If you gave an honest up-to-the-moment assessment of where you are in your life, are you more like a foolish virgin or a wise one? Why do you think so?

8. Go around the group, one at a time—

Say to the man on your right,

“I would give some of my oil to you if I could, but the best I can do is be here while we each collect our own.”

The man on your right answers,

“Thank you. I understand there are some things I can only do for myself, but I do appreciate your company.”

Go around the group, one more time—

  • How did you feel when proclaiming those statements, above?
  • What wise steps can you take this week to become a “wiser virgin”—that is, a more faithful follower of Jesus?

9. Let the group members pray silently for themselves. Ask God to open your heart to follow Jesus more faithfully, and start doing what it takes to be ready for Jesus’ return.


The group leader will close the prayer time with the blessing: “Let it be so!”