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One day Jesus told a story about a wedding feast. Let's learn something about Jewish traditions before we hear the story.
The Jewish marriage took place in three stages over a long period of time. When the couple was still very young, an Engagement was arranged by the parents, sometimes with the help of a "matchmaker".
Second, there was a Betrothal ceremony held at the bride's house. The couple exchanged vows and the groom gave the bride presents. This period lasted for a year or two, but the bride continued to live with her parents. During this time the bride was said to be "betrothed" or "espoused" to the young man.
The Marriage Supper came next. It usually happened at night. The groom and his friends came to the bride's house. She would be wearing a thick veil. She and her friends would accompany the groom and his friends to his father's house or maybe a larger hall where the festivities would take place. A contract was signed.
The bride and groom would spend time together, then the bride would remain by herself for seven days. At the end of the week, the bride would return to the group, remove her veil so that everyone could see her. If the young woman had never been married, the feast would last for seven days. If she were a widow remarrying, it would last for three days.
In the story Jesus told, the ten virgins were waiting for the bridegroom to come. Possibly they were already at the hall where the bridegroom was bringing his bride. It was nighttime and they all had lamps with oil in them, and the lamps were burning brightly.
They waited and waited. Still the wedding party had not arrived. As it got later, they began to get drowsy, and one by one they fell asleep.
Then they heard someone calling, "Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him."
They began to get up, but some of the lamps began going out.
Five of the girls were prepared for just such an event. They had planned ahead and anticipated the delay. They had extra oil to add to their lamps. They were wise to make this preparation.
The five foolish girls had no extra oil. They wanted to borrow some from the wise girls, but they refused. They said there might not be enough for all of them. They urged the girls to go and buy some oil from someone who had it for sale.
The girls left to go find a merchant who would sell them oil.
While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived and the five wise girls and the rest of the wedding party went inside. The door was shut.
The five foolish girls came back. They shouted for someone to open the door for them, but sadly there was no way for them to enter. The bridegroom replied, "I tell you the truth. I don't know you."
There are many ideas about the meaning of this parable. But one idea seems to be very clear; we need to live our lives in such a way that we are always ready for the Lord's return or for the end of our lives.
Read the story in Spanish
La Parábola de las Diez Vírgenes
Read the story in Amharic
What does this story
mean to me?
This parable teaches us to always be prepared. The foolish girls brought oil in their lamps, but they didn't think ahead and bring extra oil.
Are you going to have a test at school? Don't wait until the last minute to prepare for it. Study ahead of time and you won't have to "cram" to get the knowledge in your head.
Do you have a memory verse to learn? Don't delay studying until the morning you are recite it. Work on it every day, and it will become a part of you. You may even be able to recall it years later!
You also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Luke 12:40 (NIV)
(Rest the mouse lightly over the ??? to see the answers in the alternate tags.)
1.For whom were the girls waiting?
2. How many girls went to sleep?
3. What happened to the lamps of the foolish girls?
4.What did they want the other girls to do?
5. What did the five wise girls tell them?
6. What happened when the foolish girls returned?
7. What did the bridegroom say to them?
8. What is the lesson of this parable?
You can read about the Parable of the Ten Virgins in the Bible in
Multiple Choice Test
Parable of the Ten Virgins - Word Search
Parable of the Ten Virgins - Crossword Puzzle
Parable of the Ten Virgins - Word Scramble
Matthew 25:1-4 Fill-in the Blanks
Online and Printable Coloring Pictures about The Wise and Foolish Virgins
The Parables of Jesus for Kids
By Jim & Vicki Coy / Evergreen Press
It's a simply illustrated book with a powerful message-one that kids will want to read again and again! The Parables of Jesus for Kids presents 51 remarkable parables of Jesus Christ as recorded in the four Gospels. Parents, grandparents, and teachers can use it to introduce children to the ministry of Jesus Christ in a way that will make a lasting impression on their hearts and minds. Kids will be captured by the simplicity of God's wisdom displayed in the parables of Jesus. 48 pages, hardcover from Evergreen Press.
The Illustrated Parables of Jesus for Children
By Jean-Francois Kieffer & Christine Ponsard / Ignatius Press
Selected parables from the Gospels are told in a youthful yet tasteful comic-book style. The simple words and beautiful, brightly colored illustrations will captivate children whether they read the book on their own or with their family.
The book includes a brief introduction to the parables. And each parable is told by Jesus, who is shown telling the tale to his disciples or the crowd as recorded in the Gospels. The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, The Unforgiving Servant, and many more stories are faithfully gathered here to instruct and inspire children ages 4 and up.
Search for "Stories Jesus Told"
The Parable of the Ten Maidens - Story 228
Most Recent Comments ( See more comments on this page ) 2012-04-02
The True Meaning of this Parable is:
First thing to understand this parable you need the spirit of the Living God.
The Parable of Ten Virgins represent a believer of Christ those five who were wise have kept their oil while waiting for the bride groom. Oil represents as the Holy Spirit of God while waiting for their bridegroom (Rapture)they have worked out their salvation with fear and trembling Phil. 2:12 by maintaining the Holy Spirit to keep burning in their hearts while the five those who were foolish were become complacent in their faith meaning they had compromised themselves in the world.They sinned and transgressed the commandments of God and their lamps had run out of oil because the Holy spirit has grieved ( Ephesians 4:30 )The holy spirit is sensitive it can pick up and discern wickedness and the spirit of God would grieve once a believer sins against the commandment of God( Reference Acts Chapter 5 Ananias and Sapphira. In James 4:4 - If any a man chooses to be a friend of this world you would become an enemy of God. Jesus said in John Chapter 3:5 -Except a man be born of water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.The Conclusion of this Parable is that the 5 foolish virgins were left behind in the rapture( Matthew Chapter 24:34-42)......Keep the Holy spirit of God continue burning in your hearts that is our passport in heaven in Romans Chapter 8:9 -A man without the spirit of Christ He does not belong to Christ.......How to obtain the Holy Spirit Peter said in Acts 2:38 Repent and be Baptized everyone of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and You shall receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Read the life of Cornelius Acts Chapter 10 He is not yet saved but the angel of the Lord instructed him how to get saved.May God bless You......The most important of all is the Holy Spirit of God.......... Edit By Nick from Philippines......
I am a Sunday School teacher of 25 years and this is by far the best training material I have seen- because they are short, to the point, scriptural and very interactive which is KEY to learning and maintaining interest. The variation of interactive tools such as word scramble, puzzles, fill in the blank are just awesome. Developing a lesson is so time consuming, now all I have to do is prepare and teach. The children love them because they know its not going to be a lot of the teacher lecturing. Thank you for your hard work in developing these short training sessions and doing so accurately. Steve Slusser
Thank you for what you are doing!
J Wallace - The Bahamas
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Children's Bible Lessons
David & Goliath
3 Brave Boys
Parable of Talents
Paul's 1st Journey
Paul's 2nd Journey
Paul's 3rd Journey
Paul in Rome
Go to Calvary Chapel and look at story #228 for activities for "The Parable of the Ten Maidens".
They have color sheets, crossword puzzles, word finds, and worksheets.
Public domain Bible pictures
Puzzles on these pages courtesy of
Songs of Praise and Armored Penguin