Scripture Queries and Answers: Parable of the Virgins to Jewish Remnant or to Christendom?

Matthew 7:22‑23; Luke 13:25‑28  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
J. D. B.
A. It is a mistake in interpreting scripture to conceive that similarity in one point or more establishes identity, many of which however striking would be of no weight against a single irreconcilable difference. The context (and not verbal analogies even if far stronger than in these instances) is alone decisive. It is worth remarking, just to show how precarious this ground is, that a well-known living commentator and critic contrasts Matt. 7:23 with chapter xxv. 12. The truth is, that in the day of the Lord all will be judged who have not been saved, and on similar though not identical grounds; for the Lord will deal with Jew, Gentile, or Christian profession on their own footing, but in His light. The passage in Luke is proved by the context to be the judgment of the Jews who refused the urgent proffers of Jesus. The passage in Matt. 7 need not be so restrained, though no doubt applying there and then. But the parable of the virgins, both contextually and in its own statements, applies not to the Jews (who have already been fully treated of in the preceding two chapters, nationally and as a remnant), but to professing Christendom consisting of disciples real and unreal. The Jewish remnant will be rather the earthly bride than virgins going out to meet the Bridegroom; neither will they from the first possess the gift of the Spirit (the “oil in their vessels") like the wise virgins; nor will any of them be “foolish” like these, but “the wise;” nor will they go to sleep during their awful hour of trial.