Luke 12:35-40 NASB

35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Matthew 25:1-13 NIV

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut’11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Some parallels between the two narratives:

1) Wedding feast

2) Stand ready with the lamps

3) Master/bridegroom returns at midnight

4) Be ready for the hour unknown

Are these parables meant to be parallel?

  • Can you please clarify what you mean by "parallel"?
    – Ruminator
    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:09
  • Yes these are parallel, in that they relate one to another and represent the same thing. Christ the master and bridegroom and the Church being the bride and servant of the master. This is obvious, let your rational spiritual discernment tell you the truth.
    – GFFG
    Apr 25, 2019 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


It is quite clear that Jesus' two parables have a similar but still distinct message: (a) The faithful Steward, Luke 12:42-48; and, (b) The Ten Virgins, Matt 25:1-13. While these two parables share some common elements, they also have some important differences:

  • The faithful steward awaits the master's return from the wedding, the 10 virgins await the bridegroom's arrival to the wedding banquet.
  • The steward does not leave the premises but works at the family home and farm supervising workers. The 10 virgins do not work but are supposed to be ready for the bridegroom's arrival so as to be able to enter the banquet.
  • The steward is one who is employed to work for the master, the 10 virgins are people who celebrate with the bridegroom when he arrives.
  • The point of the two parables is also quite different: the steward is expected to keep working and to supervise the affairs of the master during his absence and to do a good job. The 10 virgins are expected to have enough oil to last until the bridegroom arrives so as to be able to enter the banquet.
  • That is, the faithful steward is about beings suitably occupied with God's work while the 10 virgins is about being adequately acquainted (filled) with the Holy Spirit.

However, both teach the importance of being ready and have as their central idea of the eschatological return of Jesus but teach different things about that eschaton.

  • Just for clarity, could you define how you use the word 'eschaton', please ?
    – Nigel J
    Apr 26, 2019 at 6:58
  • 1
    "eschaton" is an old technical word for the end of the world for which the NT constantly uses this word.
    – user25930
    Apr 26, 2019 at 8:54

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