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Stories Jesus Told

The Marriage Helpers

Jesus' friends had desire for him to rule a kingdom. Jesus will rule all the world at the right time. Jesus needed to do other things before he took his kingdom. He needed to be put to death for our sins and come to life again. He needed to go back to Heaven. He is there now. He will come to rule someday. It is hard for his friends to be waiting for that day. Waiting was also hard for his friends of long ago. Jesus gave the story of the marriage helpers for his friends. It is a story about waiting for him.

These were the marriage customs of those days. A man and woman made an agreement of marriage. Then the man went to make a home for his wife. The woman also got ready. One night the man came to the woman’s family home. His friends came with him. The man took his new wife home with him. They gave a party at their new home. The party was the start of the marriage. The woman did not have knowledge of when her new husband was coming. His coming was a surprise.

Jesus said ten young women were waiting for a marriage. It was not their marriage. They were friends of the new wife. She had made a request for them to help at the marriage party.

They all had knowledge that the new husband was coming at any time. They needed to be ready to help.

Night came. The young women had lights. The lights were oil lamps. The lamps needed to have flames when the new husband came.

Five young women had bottles of oil with them. They put more oil in their lamps when they needed it. They were ready. They were wise.

Five young women did not have bottles of oil. They said, “The new husband will come before the oil is gone.” They were not ready. They were foolish.

The young women were waiting a long time. The new wife was waiting also. The night was long. The new husband did not come. The ten young women all went to sleep. The middle of the night came. The oil was low in their lamps.

Someone said, “See, the new husband is coming!”

They all opened their eyes. The oil was gone from the lamps. The wise young women put new oil in their lamps. Their lamps had bright flames for the new husband.

The foolish young women had no oil. “Give us some oil,” they said.

We cannot give you oil,” said the wise young women. “We do not have enough. Go get oil for money.”

The foolish young women went to get oil. The new husband came while they were gone. He took every one from the new wife’s home with him. They all went to the marriage party.

The foolish young women got oil. Now their lamps made light too. They went quickly to the new husband’s home. The door of his house was shut. They knocked on the door. They said, “Sir, please open the door for us.”

But the new husband said, “I do not have knowledge of you. Go away.”

Jesus said, “When I come back it will be like that marriage party. The people who are ready will come to Heaven with me. Those who are not will go away to a dark place.”

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