Is the oil to be bought in Matthew 25:1-13 the truth mentioned in Proverbs 23:23?


Do Matthew 25:1-13 and Proverbs 23:23 correlate?  Is the oil we are supposed to buy truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding?


When dealing with parables, you need to be careful to use the imagery in the parable consistent with the point being made. It is possible to stretch a parable beyond its intended meaning.

In this case, the oil cannot be referring to the truth because the wise virgins were unable to share it with the foolish for fear there would not be enough for all. That is not true with the truth. Truth can always be shared and it doesn't diminish with the spreading.

The point of this parable and those surrounding it is that a person must be watchful because we do not know when the Lord will return. Just because a person is a part of the kingdom, it does not mean they have a guaranteed entrance into heaven. Each person must be prepared to hold on for an unknown length of time. It is required of Christians to remain steadfast (Hebrews 3:14; 6:11; Revelation 2:10). Like the warning in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23), the church is composed of people who will endure and those who will fall away. Only the wise understand the need to be prepared for endurance.

Just as one Christian cannot give their righteousness to another, the wise virgins were unable to help the foolish virgins in being ready for the bridegroom. Each person must individually put in their own effort to be ready. No one can make you get ready or do the work on your behalf (Philippians 2:12). Nor will there be an opportunity for a second chance once the Lord returns (Hebrews 9:27).

See "The Second Coming of the Lord" for more details.

In Proverbs 23:23, the point being made that truth is so valuable we should never compromise it by selling for cheaper things. There are people who are willing to release their hold on truth for worldly pleasures, or pride, or family, or other temporal things. They are not getting the bargain they believe. See "Religious Bargain Hunting" for more on this matter.

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