The Parable of the Bride
Once upon a time there was a famous Prince who travelled to a far away land to establish the Kingdom of his Father. When he arrived in the land where he was tasked to establish the Kingdom, he found that the people there were enslaved to a cruel ruler who had corrupted every corner of the land. The prince knew that in order to accomplish the mission his father had given him, he would need to win the hearts of the people through love and not only through violence and war. For even if he knocked the corrupt ruler off his throne, he knew the people would rebel because they had been living under the curse of the evil ruler for so long.
Now in this country there was a princess, unmarried, beautiful and loved by the people. Legend said whoever would marry the princess would win the hearts of the people and be their King. The cruel ruler had tried many times to consolidate his power by marrying the princess, but she refused time and time again until he became so angry that he enslaved her and set a time for her execution unless she changed her mind. The people were powerless to save their queen. It so happened that it was around this time that the Prince of the far away Kingdom arrived in the land and when he saw the princess enslaved his heart broke. She was in chains, bruised from long hours of hard labour and she was covered in dirt from the harsh conditions in which she lived. And yet, the prince saw through all of this, he saw her beauty and he fell in love with her. He decided in his heart that he would liberate the princess and then he would make her his wife and in doing so liberate the people of the land as well.
And so, the prince devised a plan. For years he laid low in the land finding good men who would work with him to set the princess free and liberate the people. At last after a few years had gone by the men were ready and the King and his men set out on a daring mission to rescue the princess.
A hard, brutal and bloody battle was fought against the wicked ruler. It appeared the Prince and his men were losing, in fact his men lost hope and had already started abandoning him, but sword in hand the Prince did not give up and on the third day he arose victorious over his enemy. Casting the wicked ruler out of his castle he cut the chains binding the princess and set her free.
The prince then called his band of warriors to his side and began to give them instructions. He was to marry the Princess who had now been set free and restored to her rightful place, but before he could do so he would need to return to his father’s house and make arrangements for the wedding ceremony. The prince’s parting instructions were this: go through this land and declare that the wicked ruler has been cast off his throne, declare to every corner of the land that my Father’s Kingdom is being established here and see to it that my bride is prepared for the day when I return. You will be my messengers, my ambassadors and my groomsmen.
And so the prince left and his band of followers carried out his instructions, going to every part of the Kingdom, declaring the coming of the King and Kingdom and making arrangements for the bride to be prepared for her wedding.
The wicked man, though cast from his throne, in a final act of defiance plotted against the prince. Although he had been stripped of all power, he plotted one final scheme against the prince, his followers and the bride. Knowing he was powerless to do anything himself, he began to sow seeds of doubt and pride among the followers of the Prince.
As weeks and months and years went by the Prince had not yet returned and his followers began to wonder and asked, will the prince ever return to claim his bride and Kingdom? Some followers began desiring the Kingdom for themselves, some began desiring the bride for themselves. As the hearts of these men became sour, they fought amongst themselves for positions of power and influence. Each trying to outdo the other, each trying to elevate himself above the rest and steal the heart of the bride…
Tell me now. When the prince returns and finds these men fighting for the attention of the bride, what do you think he will do to them?
This story is for me an illustration of how I see many so called “servants of God” today. God has entrusted men to serve him, to declare his Kingdom and see to the readiness of his bride, but many have instead opted to compete for the bride. Men have sought to make themselves more important and to build their own Kingdoms. Instead of serving the bridegroom men have sought to take His place.
Beware that your hearts don’t become corrupted by pride. We exist for one purpose. Only one purpose and that is to serve the prince of peace, the King of Kings.
““Rabbi, you spoke about a man when you were with him east of the Jordan. He is now baptizing people, and everyone is going to him.” 27 John replied: No one can do anything unless God in heaven allows it. 28 You surely remember how I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am only the one sent ahead of him. 29 At a wedding the groom is the one who gets married. The best man is glad just to be there and to hear the groom’s voice. That’s why I am so glad. 30 Jesus must become more important, while I become less important. (John 3:26-30)
Can we say the same thing John the Baptist said?
1. I am not the messiah, I am not the Prince. I am only his servant.
2. I am only a groomsman, looking out for the needs of the groom. All attention should be on the Groom, I am simply glad to be near him and hear his voice.
3. Jesus must become more important, I must become less important.