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Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

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Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids


1.      Compare how this one begins with Matthew 13. What does the tense indicate?

2.      The comparison is between the “wise” and the “foolish” bridesmaids. The words selected here for “wise” and “foolish” are important and echo some other things Jesus says. These are not the dominant words used in Proverbs for wise and foolish.

a.       “Wise/Phronimos”: Although there is certainly harmony and overlap between the different words used for “wise” among the three. Sophia/wisdom, phronimos/understanding, aisthysis/knowledge. Phronimos speaks to cleverness, practicality, insight, reasonable, shrewd

b.      “Foolish”/moros”: dull witted, useless, “fool” as insult,

3.      Jesus uses these words are used in combination only in one other place: Matt 5:24-27. What does that teach? They are also found together in 1 Corinthians 4:10.

4.      See also this unusual word for “foolishness” as found in 1 Corinthians 1:25, 27, 3:18,. What does this communicate? Also see 2 Timothy 2:23

5.      The “wise” here are found in Luke 12:42, 16:8, Romans 12:16

6.      I have often felt badly about this parable because I thought that the “wise” bridesmaids were behaving in an un-Christian fashion. Wouldn’t the Christian think to do would be to share? I misunderstood the parable. The parable makes a point, it is not setting the two groups up as moral examples to us. See also the parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16.

7.      The context is a wedding banquet. Luke has majored in wedding banquets. Why a wedding banquet?

8.      We talked last week about the difficulty of automatically seeing these passages as “second coming” passages. If the disciples weren’t expecting Jesus to leave and then return, who were they expecting to return? Who had left and what did it have to do with the temple?

9.      Who sleeps?  Is their sleep judged?

10.  What happens "outside" in parables like these? See Matthew 22:13

11.  The appeal: “Lord, lord” and the response “I never knew you” obviously also connect with Matthew 7:23. See the note on the two words:

To Know: See this treatment from Vine’s Expository Dictionary:

The differences between ginōskō (No. 1) and oida demand consideration: (a) ginōskō, frequently suggests inception or progress in knowledge, while oida suggests fulness of knowledge, e.g., John 8:55, “ye have not known Him” (ginōskō), i.e., begun to know, “but I know Him” (oida), i.e., ‘know Him perfectly;’ 13:7, “What I do thou knowest not now,” i.e. Peter did not yet perceive (oida) its significance, “but thou shalt understand,” i.e., ‘get to know (ginōskō), hereafter;’ 14:7, “If ye had known Me” (ginōskō), i.e., ‘had definitely come to know Me,’ “ye would have known My Father also” (oida), i.e., ‘would have had perception of:’ “from henceforth ye know Him” (ginōskō), i.e., having unconsciously been coming to the Father, as the One who was in Him, they would now consciously be in the constant and progressive experience of knowing Him; in Mark 4:13, “Know ye not (oida) this parable? and how shall ye know (ginōskō) all the parables?” (R.V.), i.e., ‘Do ye not understand this parable? How shall ye come to perceive all …’ the intimation being that the first parable is a leading and testing one; (b) while ginōskō frequently implies an active relation between the one who knows and the person or thing known (see No. 1, above), oida expresses the fact that the object has simply come within the scope of the knower’s perception; thus in Matt. 7:23 “I never knew you” (ginōskō) suggests ‘I have never been in approving connection with you,’ whereas in 25:12, “I know you not” (oida) suggests ‘you stand in no relation to Me.’1

12.              This is told in a series of parables. What is the parable about?


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1Vine, W., & Bruce, F. (1981; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996). Vine's Expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words  : W.E. Vine ; Old Testament edited by F.F. Bruce. (electronic ed.) (303). Old Tappan NJ: Revell.

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