“Be ready,” or “get ready”?
The misunderstanding of the kingdom of God and the new birth results in confusion between “be ready” and “get ready.” However, what did Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, say? “‘Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.'” (Mathew 24:44, NET). Also, “’Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.'” (Mathew 25:13, NET).
Notice, Jesus, the Bridegroom, in the above verses did not say “get ready,” but “be ready.” The command “be ready” is in the present continuous tense. If we were to work on “getting ready” we could never “be ready” in time because we do not know when the Bridegroom will come. The five foolish virgins were concerned more about whether their light is bright enough the Bridegroom to notice them. The five vise ones, in contrast, were determined to follow the Bridegroom no matter what. We are not to be bright and lovely lights, but a dead-to-self lampstand from which the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, will illuminate the dark world. Jesus, the Bridegroom, will come when not expected, and He will not wait for those who are “getting ready.” If we were to say, when He comes, ‘Just a minute dear, I am almost ready’ will He wait? NO!
King Solomon, in his songs, portrayed the scenario. “‘I was asleep, but my mind was dreaming. Listen! My lover is knocking at the door! Open for me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one! My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night’. ‘I have already washed my feet – must I soil them again? My lover thrust his hand through the hole, and my feelings were stirred for him. I arose to open for my beloved; my hands dripped with myrrh – my fingers flowed with myrrh on the handles of the lock. I opened for my beloved, but my lover had already turned and gone away. I fell into despair when he departed. I looked for him but did not find him; I called him but he did not answer me.’” (Songs of Songs 5:2 – 5, NET).”Be ready,” says the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ; therefore, be ready! Also, be willing to follow the Bridegroom with the light you have. We could not “get ready,” we must be ready always! Do not be preoccupied with “getting ready,” He will not wait.