But he [the bridegroom] answered and said, “Amen I say to you, I do not know you.”
Years ago, my sister Elizabeth and her husband Rick were on their way to their friend Steve’s wedding some miles away from their home. Unfortunately, they got stuck in traffic and missed the ceremony altogether. They decided to make the best of it and go straight to the reception.
Rick and Elizabeth arrived well ahead of the bride and groom. They put down their wedding gift, mingled with the guests, and nibbled on the hors d’ oeuvres. Although they knew no one at the reception, they thought nothing of it. They naturally chalked this up to the fact that they had not seen Steve for years and probably knew none of his recent set. They soon immersed themselves in the friendly post-wedding chit chat.
Finally the bride and groom arrived. Horror of horrors! It was the wrong couple. Elizabeth and Rick had unknowingly crashed the wedding reception of total strangers. Needless to say, after discretely retrieving their wedding gift, my sister and brother-in-law made a hasty retreat. Staying at the reception was out of the question. They did not know the groom.
Our Lord often likened heaven to a wedding reception with Himself as the Bridegroom. The analogy is striking. Just as Elizabeth and Rick could not remain at the wedding reception because they lacked even a passing acquaintance with the bride or the groom, so we will not be allowed to remain in heaven if we do not have grace, a living relationship with Christ.
How well do I know the Bridegroom?