I was asked to participate in a worship service that would include prayer and anointing with oil for healing. The service would occur the following Sunday. In preparation, the ministers were asked to assist the Pastor in case there were a large number of congregants that wanted prayer and anointing with oil for healing. The request brought to mind the scripture found in James 5:14 – 16 (NIV) that reads:
“14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
I was glad to help and knew that I should check to make sure I had my anointing oil in good supply. My thoughts were then quickly shifted when I was asked by another person if I could lend them some oil. The question of borrowing my oil brought another Biblical story and scripture to mind.
Let’s take a look at where my thoughts were riveted. Of course you guessed it; the “Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids” and preparation for service until Christ returns.
Theme: “Give us some of your Oil…”
Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13 (NIRV)
The scripture reads as follows with a short story (parable) to illustrate and teach a moral, spiritual lesson, or religious principle.
The Story of Ten Bridesmaids
25 “Here is what the kingdom of heaven will be like at that time. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. 2 Five of them were foolish. Five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but didn’t take any olive oil with them. 4 The wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The groom did not come for a long time. So the bridesmaids all grew tired and fell asleep.6 “At midnight someone cried out, ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out.’9 “‘No,’ they replied. ‘There may not be enough for all of us. Instead, go to those who sell oil. Buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “So they went to buy the oil. But while they were on their way, the groom arrived. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with him to the wedding dinner. Then the door was shut. 11 “Later, the other bridesmaids also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘What I’m about to tell you is true. I don’t know you.’13 “So keep watch. You do not know the day or the hour that the groom will come.
I believe a great interpretation of the Matthew 23:1-13 scripture is as follows and referenced below. A portion of that interpretation reads as follows:
The five bridesmaids who have the extra oil represent the truly born again who are looking with eagerness to the coming of Christ. They have saving faith and have determined that, whatever occurs, be it lengthy time or adverse circumstances, when Jesus returns, they will be looking with eagerness. The five virgins without the oil represent false believers who enjoy the benefits of the Christian community without true love for Christ. They are more concerned about the party than about longing to see the bridegroom. Their hope is that their association with true believers (“give us some of your oil” of verse 8) will bring them into the kingdom at the end. This, of course, is never the case. One person’s faith in Jesus cannot save another.
So, I am certainly not saying that the person who asked to borrow anointing oil from me is not a true believer, but their question to me was an excellent lesson for me. Everyone should be prepared to serve God in the capacity for which they have been called into service.