#DailyDevotion Are You Known By Jesus?
Matt. 256“At midnight there was a shout: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out and meet him! 7Then all those girls woke up and got their lamps ready. 8But the foolish asked the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out.’ 9“The wise girls answered, “There will never be enough for us and for you. Better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10“While they were away buying it, the bridegroom came, and the girls who were ready went with him to the wedding, and the door was shut. 11“Later the other girls also came and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us!’ 12 ‘I tell you the truth,’ he answered them, ‘I don’t know you.’ – 13“Keep awake, then, because you don’t know the day or the hour.”
The midnight hour, the shout is made and the bridegroom arrives. The virgins are awakened and they come out to meet the bridegroom. There appears to be a problem. Five of them had their lamps go out and they have no extra oil to keep them lit. They were not prepared for this. Now the wise girl seem to me to be pretty snooty and don’t give good advice at all. While it is true they could not share their oil anyone knows you aren’t going to find any at midnight, at least not easily. Well the foolish ones run off to find some more oil. This part to me really shows their foolishness. Just what do they think about the bridegroom that they think this is necessary? Why couldn’t they just join arms with the others and share their lamps? Running off to buy oil is the foolish thing to do. Now the bridegroom arrives and the door is shut. The foolish virgins arrive finally and they want to be let in to the party. They beg him to open the door for them but he gives them the most damning reply you could ever hear, “I tell you the truth I don’t know you.”
Now here then is the part one of the crux of this parable. We saw yesterday how the foolish girls did not know the bridegroom. Many people think they know Jesus but they do not. These foolish girls thought they knew the bridegroom and thought he would not find them acceptable without the lamps with oil. They did not trust his mercy and kindness. Yet had they gone to him humbly and contrite, trusting in his grace and mercy they could have gotten into the party with the other virgins. They did not know Jesus and Jesus did not know them therefore.
Earlier in Matthew Jesus predicted that many people would come to him on the Last Day saying, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?” Jesus says he will tell them, “I never knew you. Get away from Me, you who are so busy doing wrong.” This is the same thing he tells the foolish virgins. These people were relying on the works done in Jesus’ name. The virgins were relying on their having lit lamps. Neither really knew Jesus and therefore were not known by Jesus. We know Jesus and are known by him when we trust his mercy and kindness.
Secondly Jesus says here, “Keep awake, then, because you don’t know the day or the hour.” Well how do we do that? Both sets of virgins fell asleep. It is by gathering together regularly with other believers around the gospel of Jesus Christ and his sacraments, being regularly reminded of his grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness and love and trusting he is really this way towards us. Then we are not only knowing him but are known by him.
Heavenly Father, every give us your word and sacraments with the company of all the saints that we may know Jesus and be known by him so we may enter his marriage feast. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.