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Morning: Kampar Chinese Methodist Church, 23rd December 2001.
Evening: Bandar Baru Methodist Centre, 23rd December 2001.

Be Watchful

Matthew 25: 1 - 13 (Also Mark 13: 32 - 37 and Luke 12: 35 - 40)

Some pondering over . . .


Key Points from Main Texts

Now let us look at a few verses from this morning's bible passage:

Five foolish versus five wise maidens

Five burning versus five dead lamps:

The lighted lamp is used throughout the Bible to symbolise many things -

The Wedding:

 A Jewish wedding in NT was very different from Christian weddings today: it goes through three ceremonies: first the engagement, where the parents of the bride and the groom agree to give away their children in a marriage contract. Then the bethrothal (some kind of further engagement) - the bethrothal is a very serious engagement and it cannot be annulled unless the bride or the groom have committed serious sins. While waiting for the wedding, the bride is considered as already belonging to the bridegroom. That's why, if the bridegroom dies before the wedding, the bride has to regarded as a widow by her community. Finally there is the wedding, where the bride waits for a procession of the bridegroom and his friends to come to her house in a grand ceremony to take her as his wife.

Areas to watch

Be Watchful in Love

1 Corinthians 16: 13, 14

Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong. Everything you do should be done in love.

1 Peter 4: 7, 8

For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer. Above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Be Watchful in Sufferings

1 Peter 5: 8, 9

Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.

Be Watchful in Obedience

2 Peter 3: 10 - 12

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness, while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God?

Be Watchful in Teaching

2 Timothy 4: 1 - 4

I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things.


Every day is a day of preparation in a Christian's life: preparing for the return of the Lord.  This is the great hope of every Christian's heart -  to be found fully prepared when the sudden, unannounced return of the Lord Jesus takes place.  Like the maidens who watched over their lamps, or the servants who watched for their master's return, we are reminded today to keep our lamps burning likewise. Let us prepare ourselves in watchful teaching and obedience, in suffering and in our love for each other in the Lord.