Be Ready Part 3

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
— Matthew 25:10-12 NKJV

    The Bridegroom comes and welcomes in a ready people to His wedding. So what was it about them that causes Jesus to describe them as “those who were ready?” Well Jesus already told us that these wise virgins knew the importance of being soaked in the Word. We also know that they accompanied that with continually seeking the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. However Jesus wants us to get something lodged in our minds. If you want to be apart of this ready people, then you need to read, study and meditate on the word, and seek the continual indwelling of the Holy Spirit with the central focus of…

Intimacy with Jesus

    These people are ready because they know the Bridegroom. This will not be like the movie Wedding Crashers, where two men crashed wedding after wedding pretending that they knew someone from the wedding party. If you do not know the Bridegroom, the door will be shut. You will not get in. Even though you had your Bible and anticipated the coming of the Bridegroom. No indwelling oil of the Holy Spirit. No focus on intimacy with Jesus. No entrance.

    The word know in verse 12, in the original language, does not mean the acquiring of large amounts of information about the Bible or about God. What Jesus is talking about is intimate knowledge. He is speaking of a heart transforming relational knowledge. This is what Jesus was speaking of in John 5:39-40. Hear the heart of Jesus as He speaks to the Jewish religious leaders… “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” Are you hearing the implications of what Jesus is saying? All the books… all the stories… all the poems… all the prophecies… Listen! All the doctrines… of the Bible are for the sole purpose of leading you to a faith relationship with Jesus that you may have life! John Ortberg puts it this way in his book the Life You’ve Always Wanted...

“Knowledge about the Bible is an indispensable good. But knowledge does not by itself lead to spiritual transformation. When Paul urged the Christians at Rome to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds,” he was thinking of far more than just the acquisition of information.”
— The Life You've Always Wanted P. 188

 I declare to you today that what Paul had in mind was a renewing of the mind that comes out of a relationship with Jesus through the word, prayer and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    These foolish virgins are represented by Jesus in another short parable found in Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
— Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV

They were busy working for God, but had no intimate relationship with Him. 

    Friends, Jesus doesn’t shut the door on the foolish virgins and say “I do not know you” in some kind of cruel, arbitrary way. He is saying that the door is being shut, because you have shut the door of your heart on Him! Jesus is issuing both a startling warning and a beautiful invitation. He says come to Me. Find your rest in Me. Get to know Me and I promise you, you will be ready.

    So what does this mean for us practically? It means that the most important priority in your life is your daily relationship with Jesus. Anything else that gets in the way of that is idolatry and you need to repent. Everything you do should flow out of and surround your communion with Christ. This is what Jesus is saying to you out of todays scripture. Spend time with Me everyday by taking out your lamp, the Bible. Then ask for the fresh anointing of the indwelling Holy Spirit, for He leads you daily to Jesus. As you spend time in the Word, no matter what you read, your looking for Jesus. And here is what that looks like. Get to know Him by asking what does what I’m reading reveal to me about God’s character. Where to I see a picture of the cross that gives me the assurance of my salvation. Ask yourself what is the Holy Spirit saying directly to you that days reading. Then find at least one verse that spoke to you that day. Meditate on it and memorize throughout the day. Hide His word in your heart. You may want to journal these findings to give your time with Jesus more focus. Maybe you started doing this with Water for the Thirsty, but you’ve fallen of. It’s ok, just come to Jesus and start again. His grace is sufficient. Stay in Him and He promises you will be ready.

    Jesus concludes this parable in Matthew 25:13, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Jesus is saying you have to live in watchful readiness, so that at any moment, any day, because you have maintained that daily relationship with Him, you will be ready for His coming.

“CJ” Claypole S. Cousins Jr. is simply a man who is in love with Jesus. His passion is to live, preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to preaching and teaching, CJ also loves to sing and write about Jesus. He also serves as the pastor for Youth, Young Adults and Children at Vienna SDA Church in Vienna, VA.