26TH AUGUST 2022
YOU CANNOT LIVE ON SOMEONE ELSE’S OIL.
And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ verses 8-9
Today’s parable is another of Jesus’ so-called “kingdom parables” because He uses it to describe what the kingdom of God is like. But even though this parable is about the future aspect of the kingdom, it is primarily a parable about how we are to live right now in view of the future return of Jesus.
Jesus uses this parable to make it clear to His disciples that His return was not going to be nearly as soon as they supposed. And that His return is going to be sudden and unexpected because of what seems like a long delay to us. Therefore, we are to be in a constant state of attention and alert so that whenever Jesus does return, we will be prepared. That’s a pretty simple message. But how exactly are we to make sure we are properly prepared for his return? By heeding the main message of this parable that “I cannot live on someone else’s oil”.
Each person has to make an individual response to the invitation to enter God’s kingdom. we can’t rely upon someone else’s oil to get us into the kingdom. In this parable all ten women had an equal opportunity to obtain oil for their lamps, but only half of them chose to follow through and actually do that. And it was impossible for the other five to get into the wedding feast based on what the five wise women had chosen to do.
We live in a culture that promises to give us what we want quickly and with as little effort as possible. So, we go to a fast-food restaurant and let someone else fill our stomachs with food that they have prepared. We go to the car wash and stay in our car while some other person or machine washes our car. We go home and turn on our TV and let someone else fill our minds with news and entertainment.
And that seems to have carried over into our spiritual lives. We want someone else to fill us up spiritually and we don’t want them to take a lot of time to do that. Far too many of us don’t want to do what is required to fill up our own spiritual tanks because that takes a lot of hard work and discipline. Filling our spiritual tanks only comes as a result of intentional habits built into our lives. If you want to have your own oil instead of depending on someone else’s you’re going to have to make time to be alone with God in His Word and in prayer. You’re going to have to make time with fellow believers to study the Bible, pray and encourage each other. You’re going to have to look for opportunities to serve the needs of others in the name of Jesus and to invite them into the kingdom. There is a sense in which that is really your own oil.
Are you spiritually running empty? Have you been depending on someone else’s oil to either enter the kingdom in the first place or to live as part of that kingdom? If so, the solution is not to live on someone else’s oil, but rather to get some of your own because you cannot live on someone else’s oil.