“Five of them were foolish…”
The parable of the wise and foolish virgins is often prone to preachers presenting a lot of allegory. There can be all sorts of possibilities put forth for what the oil is, why the lamps, what’s going on at the feast, why at midnight – on and on and on. Some of that is quite good, but it misses the main contrast that is made between wise and foolish. So, what made the foolish gals foolish?
The wedding banquet was long expected. It was highly anticipated. Everyone knew that it was coming, and these ten young women even knew their role and place at the wedding. And yet, five acted foolishly. They acted as if they weren’t really expecting the groom to show up… ever. It was as though he was utterly unexpected.
Christ Jesus has told us all about how His kingdom comes. Oh, it will come again on the Last Day when He returns, but it comes before that. The Kingdom of God comes whenever “our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.” The Kingdom comes through the Word, be it the Word preached, or attached to water in Baptism, or in the Supper. The Kingdom comes now.
Many foolish people disdain these means by which the Holy Spirit is given, the ways in which we are brought into the Kingdom even now. It is as though they don’t expect Jesus to be where He has promised to be. But you have been given ears to hear, and by the working of the Holy Spirit you know that Christ is present in His Word for you, to forgive you your sins and declare you godly for all time. Thus, whenever the Last Day should come, you will be ready. You’re already in the feast, for you are in His Kingdom now by the power of the Word and Spirit.