Ten Bridesmaids

To Remember: We must prepare now
  • wise: able to make good decisions
  • foolish: makes bad decisions, ignores instruction, rebellious
  • Lesson Matthew 25:1-13
    Life of Jesus Bingo Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil in their vessels with their lamps.

    As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, "Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him." Then all those bridesmaids got up, and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, "Give us some of your oil; for our lamps are going out." But the wise replied, "No!  There will not be enough for us and you: you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves."

    And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came; and those that were ready went with him to the wedding: and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, "Lord, Lord, open to us." But he replied, "Truly I tell you, I do not know you". Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour (that the Son of man cometh). [NRSV]

    How many of the bridesmaids knew the bridegroom was coming? All of them. Then why weren't they all ready? They got sleepy and weren't prepared for the long wait. The foolish bridesmaids didn't bring enough oil. Jesus says we must be like the wise bridesmaids that were prepared. We must be ready for the wait. What are we waiting for? For Christ to come.

    The bridesmaids knew what they were supposed to do - to participate in the wedding and have themselves and their lamps ready when the bridegroom came. We also know what we are supposed to do. We are to have ourselves ready and our tasks ready when Christ comes. The bridesmaids did not have a huge task and neither do we. But we must be ready.

    Activity: (Borrowed from here)
    Be Ready : Have students pair off. Give one in each pair a ruler, piece of paper, or similar object about 12" long. Student A holds the object at chest height from the top. Student B poises to catch it between his/her thumb and forefinger, with their hand at the bottom of the object. Tell Student A he/she can release the object without warning. Student B has to BE READY to catch it. Give each student a chance. Use the object lesson to discuss being prepared to act at a moment's notice.
    Activity:  Scan or copy a color picture of a Biblical man (groom), a Biblical woman (bridesmaid) and an oil lamp. Distribute the pieces evenly throughout the class. As you read the lesson, have the students listen and when they hear the object they have in their hand mentioned, they are to pass it to the next person. Read the parable straight from the text. The objects should quickly work their way across the room. Sometimes students will end up with both and one object might "overtake" another. All students have to listen and be ready for their object to be called.
    How do we prepare for the bridegroom? What have we been asked to do? What should we be? What should we have accomplished? What steps must we take now to prepare?
    Do you know someone who is never prepared? Who never has their homework done? Who is always late? Their life always seems to be a crisis because they aren't prepared, they don't think ahead and plan. Discuss ways in which being prepared makes life easier.
    Jesus told other stories about people who should be ready. Read Mark 13:32-37 and discuss.
    For end of class. What will we do this week to prepare for Christ's return?

    Craft: Lamps: Purchase an oil lamp or candle and explain how they work. Make a model of a lamp from playdough.

    Create a clock from construction paper. Cut out hands that move and draw numbers where they belong.

    Make a wedding invitation for a friend. Invite them to the wedding feast of Christ and the church. Include instructions on what they need to do to get there and a RSVP.

    Graphic: Color picture of the ten bridesmaids. Print out and cut into a puzzle or use as a graphic in the class.

    True or False
    1. The wise bridesmaids were ready because they knew when the bridegroom was coming. F
    2. Everyone has been told Christ is coming. T
    3. Jesus wants everyone to be ready when He comes.  T
    4. We can't prepare without knowing the deadline. F
    5. What Jesus has asked of is is nearly impossible.  F
    Wise or Foolish
    Play this similar to True and False, or use as a worksheet.
    1. Crossing a street without looking for cars first. F
    2. Looking both ways before crossing the street. W
    3. Studying the Bible regularly. W
    4. Ignoring what God has told you. F
    5. Saving part of our allowance for future needs. W
    6. Borrowing money from others for things we don't really need. F
    7. Praying only when we want something. F
    8. Praying every day. W
    9. Being careful about what we say. W
    10. Saying everything we think. F
    Sing: The wise man built his house..., Will Jesus find us watching?

    Memory Work:
    Matthew 25:13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour (that the Son of man cometh).

    Matthew 24:36 But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

    Matthew 24:42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
    Review Questions for gameboard

     linguistic questions
    1. What is a bridesmaid?
    2. Define wise.
    3. Define foolish.
      activity questions
    1. Have 2 students play a hand game: One lays hands palms down over the other whose hands are palms up. The palms up student tries to flip his hands over in time to (lightly) slap the first students hands. But the first student can try to pull her hands out in time.
    2. Recite the memory verse. (If memory verse is provided ahead of time, stress the preparation involved.)
    3. Act out the lesson at the point where the foolish bridesmaids return.
      emotion questions
    1. How do you feel when you ask a friend to do something and they don't?
    2. How do we prove to God and others that we really want to go to heaven?
    3. How did the foolish bridesmaids feel when they were shut out?
    application questions
    1. Name two things you must do to be ready for Christ.
    2. Can we take "time off" from being a Christian?
    3. Name other activities in life where preparation is important.
    fact questions
    1. What did Jesus (the groom) tell the foolish bridesmaids?
    2. Why didn't the wise bridesmaids share their oil?
    3. When the foolish bridesmaids realized they had no oil, what did they do?
    review questions
    1. How many bridesmaids were foolish?
    2. How many bridesmaids were wise?
    3. What were the bridesmaids supposed to do?