Look at the strikingly different responses people had to meeting Jesus. Just three times the Bible uses the word ‘meet’ in relation to meeting Jesus (English Standard Version):
1 “They took palm branches of trees and went out to meet him crying, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” John 12:13
2 “The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.” John 12:18
3 “All the city came out to meet Jesus…and begged him to leave”. Matthew 8:34
If you met Jesus, which reaction would you have? Would you be delighted and honour him; would you be interested to see the spectacle; or would you beg him to leave because you have no place for God in your life or aren’t ready to meet him?
Jesus tells a story about not being ready. It is about 10 bridesmaids who were waiting for the groom. It was dark and they all had their oil lamps lit, ready to welcome him. Traditionally the bride is late but in this story it was the groom and the bridesmaids fell asleep while they were waiting. When they were told he was coming the lamps had gone out and 5 of them hadn’t brought any spare oil, so they couldn’t go out to meet him – they weren’t prepared.
Jesus is using this illustration to say we need be ready to meet him when he comes. One day everyone will meet Jesus (Rev 1:7) and for those who are right with him it will be a delight. If you have fallen out with a friend meeting them is painful, awkward and embarrassing. But if you have made up, meeting them is a delight.
“Prepare to meet your God” Amos 4:12