A new take on the Parable of the Ten Virgins, by Bryan Berghoef
And he told them this parable:
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten servants who went out to meet their master. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took no weapons nor did they take any means of defense with them. The wise ones, however, took care to bring swords along with their concealed knives. The master was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out: “An intruder! Defend yourselves!”
Then all the servants woke up. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your weapons; we have no means of defense.”
“No,” they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell weapons and buy some for yourselves.”
But remembering the master’s teachings on their way, they did not. Verily, the master arrived. The servants who had shed blood went in with him to the banquet. The others had not yet arrived. And the door was shut.
The master said unto them, “By what means have you arrived ahead of the others?”
One of the five said unto him, “We took up the sword against a man we did not know. The others were foolish, and did not arm themselves.”
Then the master, shaking with rage, said unto them, “That was my messenger, sent by my order to wake and inform you of my coming. Remember you not my teaching? ‘Those who live by the sword, will die by the sword’ and ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.’”
The five who had committed violence cried out, “Lord, Lord, must we not take up weapons to defend ourselves against an intruder?”
The master replied, “Do not confuse actions inspired by fear with strength. Remember the poet, who said, ‘Some trust in chariots and some in weapons, but we trust in the name of the Lord’ and ‘A horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.’”
He then cast out the five armed men, and invited the five unarmed men to his side:
“For in my kingdom, the wise shall be made foolish, and the foolish wise.”
“Therefore keep watch, because a day is coming when some will instruct you to put your trust in weapons that cannot save, some will forsake my teachings of peace and carry out violence in my name.”
And by many other sayings and stories did he teach them.
Bryan Berghoef is a pastor, speaker, and author of the book: Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation and God. He’s also a big fan of his kids, baseball, and a good scotch.