Knock Knock Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Matthew 25:1-13

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. . . . the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

One of my high school teachers had a few verses of scripture memorized that he liked to pull out of its holster and whack us with when the occasion presented itself. When he coached track and cut people from the team, he sent away those who didn’t make it with, “Many are called, but few are chosen!”

And, if someone was late to class, he slammed the door as soon as the bell rang with the proclamation of the Gospel, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you!”

I’m all for dramatic presentations of biblical passages, but I thought it the wiser course of action not to instruct the ushers today to slam the doors at 10:50 and send away the latecomers.

Instead, I thought it better to look at this parable in its context.

First, we can look at this passage in the context of the community that produced the Gospel According to Matthew. The were a predominantly Jewish community, both by ethnicity and in practice, who believed in Jesus as the Messiah described Continue reading