The lectionary gospel reading for the third Sunday before Advent at the end of Year A is Matt 25.1–13, known as the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. This forms part of the second half of Jesus’ teaching about the future. In Matt 24.3, in response to Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the temple, his disciples have asked him a two-part question:
“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
In response, Jesus answers the first question (‘When will this happen?’) in Matt 24.4–25, and then changes to answer the second question (‘What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’) from Matt 24.36 (‘But concerning that day and hour…’) through to the end of chapter 25.
So this parable is firmly located in Jesus’ teaching about the end of the age and his return.
Come and join James and Ian as they discuss the passage, its meaning, and its implications.