Jesus had just been teaching about always being prepared no matter what you are doing and now He teaches about what this preparedness should look like through a series of parables: the ten virgins, the talents, and the separation of the sheep and the goats. One thing to keep in mind is this word of caution from Arnot1 regarding looking for meaning in the parables: “It is cruel to put the parable to the torture and compel it to give meanings which it never received from its Author.”
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1 (Lockyer 239, quoting Wm. Arnot, “The Parables of the Lord”)
Lockyer, Herbert. All the Parables of the Bible: A Study and Analysis of the More Than 250 Parables in Scripture. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988. Print.