The Ten Virgins

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 06 - Teachings of Jesus

TEXT: Matthew 25:1-13


The students will be able to explain the necessity of staying ready for Heaven, and will be able to tell how this can be done.


Introduction: Bring an oil lamp and illustrate what happens when there is no fuel. (You may wish to use two lamps if available.)

Progression of Events:

  1. Jesus told a parable using lamps burning or not burning as an example.
  2. In the story, 10 virgins had lamps.
  3. Five neglected to take oil with their lamps, and when the bridegroom came their lamps had gone out.
  4. When they went to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Those who were ready went into the marriage.

Climax: The ones who neglected to keep oil were not able to go to the marriage.

Conclusion: We must stay ready for Heaven. Making a start is not enough but we must continue to follow the Lord.

Response: The students will be able to relate ways we can stay close to the Lord and continue following Him.


Marriage and wedding customs were often used as illustrations of spiritual truths in the New Testament. When a wedding was going to take place the bridegroom and his friends would leave his father's house, often late at night, and go to the house of the bride's father to claim the bride. The bridegroom would then lead the wedding party back to his father's house. On the way, however, a group of young women, friends of the bride and bridegroom would join in the procession. Festivities were then entered into at the house of the bridegroom's father, these often lasting for several days. The ceremony was complete when the bridegroom led the bride into the bridal chamber.

The message of the parable in Matthew 25:1-13 seems clear. The procession led by the bridegroom could pass at any time. Knowing that, those who were genuinely concerned made ample preparation. Those who had their thoughts on other things failed to prepare, and thus offended the bridegroom by their indifference. Jesus gave this parable following a prediction of His return (Matthew 24:36-42) to judge the wicked and reward the righteous. Just as the wise virgins prepared for the appearance of the bridegroom while the foolish were occupied with other thoughts, those who make their relationship with God a priority will be prepared when Jesus returns, and those who are distracted will be left here.


  • Using the drawing provided under PATTERNS, have one lamp drawn for each child. As you talk about how we must keep oil in our vessels, let them paste oil and a flame on the drawing.
  • Bring some half-done jobs to illustrate that obeying part way or only doing part of what God tells us to do is not enough. Some suggestions: a dish washed on one side, a piece of wood sanded on one side, a nail pounded partly through.
  • Illustrate the lamps on a chalkboard. Use colored chalk to fill five lamps. Leave the other lamps empty.
  • Give each child a project—for example, a picture to color. Tell them you are setting a timer, but they don't know how much time they will have. How much can they color before the timer goes off? Liken this to the fact that we do not know when the Lord will come but we know that it will happen.
  • Pack a backpack or a suitcase, discussing what you need to be ready for a trip and comparing it to what we need in our lives to be ready for the Lord's return.


  1. How can we have a light (lamp) in our heart?
  2. How do we keep it burning?
  3. What must we do to get ready for Heaven?
  4. Does your heart get ready all by itself? What do you do?
  5. Does your heart stay ready all by itself? What must you do?
  6. If your heart gets naughty things in it, how do you get rid of them?
  7. Does Jesus hear us when we say we are sorry? How do we know?


  • Bring two hearts with sin-spot stickers. Both hearts pray and the sin stickers are removed. One keeps on praying and doing kind things, etc., and the heart stays clean. The other forgets to do right, stops listening to Jesus, and soon is doing naughty things again. Sin spots go back into that heart and it is no longer ready.
  • Show your children two tiny oil lamps, one empty and one full. Relate oil to doing the things that make Jesus happy. If oil lamps are not available, use drawing of lamps (see Patterns).
  • Focus of this lesson for Beginners should be "Things I can do to make Jesus happy."


Illustrate the fact that we have to clean our room or do the dishes regularly or the place becomes a mess. If we want Jesus to live in our heart, we must continue to read the Bible and pray to keep our hearts clean (show a dustmop or dirty dish). We must keep eating the right foods for our bodies to grow big and strong. We must read the Bible and pray each day to keep our hearts strong.

Have several cut-outs of people, all with magnets on them (see Patterns). On the good people have such names as "Suzy Share," "Katie Kindness," "Henry Helper," and on the bad people such names as "Charlie Cheat," "Sassy Sammy," "Tommy Thief." (Be careful not to use names of students in your group on the negative names.) Have a figure representing Jesus (possibly just a white poster board cut-out or maybe even a doll, with a magnet attached), and pass Him over the people, picking up the good people. On the bad people, put a piece of tape or something over the magnet so it won't pick them up and then explain how they all had a magnet but the bad people let something come between them and Jesus so they weren't ready to go. (Practice this first.)

Present a present-day skit bringing out the importance of being ready. Have two children that are to be picked up for a church camping trip. One fools around (reads magazine, sets hair, or whatever) instead of packing. Mom mentions several times that the driver of the van will be coming soon. One child is all packed and ready when the horn sounds, the other is not, and is left.


  • "Listen to Jesus/Parables" — Dot-to-dot book, Standard Publishing