As a child, my brother Steve asked our mom, “Where’s G?”
Mom showed him, excited for his interest in the piano. He played it a few times, adding other notes, searching.
When Mom came back around to check on him, he asked, “Where is sus?”
“What do you mean?” Mom asked.
Steve began singing to my mom. She understood as he asked again, “Where’s the ‘sus’?”
Mom had shown him the “Je,” now he needed the “sus.” Steve wanted to play Jesus Loves Me. This story my mom loved to tell with sweet memory.
We grew up on the old hymns. Mom would sing hymns to wake us up in the mornings, and she would continue to sing throughout the day. Mom and I sang together while washing dishes or cooking dinner until just before she passed away. Whenever I came to visit, she was the harmony to my melody, and sometimes vice versa. What precious memories!
Jesus Loves me was one of the first hymns we learned growing up. I believe it was one of my first solos in church. In my adult years, I have sung it to my children and grandchildren. The words of this child’s hymn have never been far from my lips. I wrote my own version of “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” I called it, “Jesus Knows Me, This I love.” I have included it at the bottom of this blog. But, before you drop down to the hear it, here’s the reason I added to the lyrics.
Several years ago, while reading in the book of Matthew, I came across the passage where Jesus is teaching the parable of the 10 virgins–five wise and five foolish.
“At that time, the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight, the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Matthew 25:1-13 NIV
The wise virgins lived in eager anticipation of the bridegroom. These women are akin to wise people who obey His Word, communicate with Him in prayer, worship Him in spirit and truth, and are filled with the Holy Spirit. In this way, they excitedly anticipate the second coming of Jesus. These are those who are welcomed by the bridegroom.
The foolish virgins followed the wise virgins but were lazy and complacent. These women are akin to those who attend church to do their duty. They sing the songs by rote and watch their watches for the sermon to end. They are polite. They have good morals and manners. They know who Jesus is, but they are lackadaisical, unprepared in their spirits. Their relationship is one-sided. In the end, the bridegroom said to the foolish virgins, “…I don’t know you.” They were too late, though they begged at the door to enter.
In Matthew 24, Jesus speaks about the signs of the times–when he will return for his bride, the church. Please take a moment and read it. If you are not familiar with the Bible, you may be surprised by the similarities of current times and the times in which Jesus is foretelling. No one knows when he’ll be here, but are you prepared for His return?
Which of the virgins do you represent–wise or foolish? Are you living in anticipation, ready for the bridegroom, prepared for his coming? Will you be welcomed to the wedding feast? Or do you feel as though you have all the time in the world to get ready–living for the moment, not for the bridegroom? Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have time to get some oil. Relationships take work. Please don’t delay. You don’t want to hear those dreadful words, “I tell you truly, I don’t know you.” The question isn’t do you know Jesus. The demons do, and they tremble. The question is, does Jesus know you?