“You can’t get on the bus without a ticket” so the driver said quite firmly to the would- be passenger as she stood on the edge of the roadside. She had been waiting, along with us for several minutes for the bus to arrive, now only to be told she couldn’t get on.
The driver turned to us, checked our tickets, and said we could get on board, so we did. The conversation between the young girl and driver then resumed, with the driver explaining the company’s policy, no ticket no journey. After a minute or so, he got onto his driver’s seat, started up the engine, and set off. Frustrated and disappointed the would-be passenger was left behind.
As we journeyed along, the next 2 or 3 stops were uneventful, until another stop proved interesting too. As we remained in our seats, the driver pulled into the coach park to collect more passengers. Checking the tickets, various people came onto the bus. We then heard a bit of a commotion, and the new driver (there had been a changeover) was telling a man that he could not get on the bus without a ticket. The young man was insisting he had bought a ticket but had not got it with him. We could hear him saying, “This is the confirmation, it’s proof I’ve booked and paid!”. Hearing this we presumed he was showing details on his phone, but no, the driver insisted, no ticket no journey!
It wasn’t until our return journey, that yet once again a passenger would not be very happy. We were in good time at the station, and the driver had got everyone’s suitcases in the luggage department, and everyone was safely on board. However, as the driver stood near the door, I noticed he kept looking at his watch. The minutes ticked by, and the driver looked again, this time he was tapping his wristwatch. ‘Looks like he’s waiting for someone’, I thought to myself. Checking the time on my own watch, dead on 5.30pm the driver boarded his bus and with that we were off. No messing around with this one. Someone was running late, one assumes, and when they arrived they would realise they had missed the bus!
Well, what does all this tell us? If you want to journey on the bus, make sure you have booked and reserved your tickets, have them in your hand, and don’t be late!
So, what about our journey to heaven? In John Ch. 14 v 6 we read how Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. The Christian faith teaches us that Jesus, God’s Son and our Saviour, is the Way to heaven. Life is a journey, and eventually we will all pass through this life and reach our destination. Where will it be? Friends, we can be assured it will be in the presence of God, our eternal Creator, if we know Jesus as our Saviour, and we have Jesus as our ticket.
A parable Jesus told comes to mind, the story of the ten Bridesmaids, found in Matthew Ch. 25. It was a custom among the Jews for the bridegroom to come at night to the bride’s house, where her bridesmaids attended her. When the bridegroom’s approach was announced, these maidens went out with their lamps to light his way into the house for the celebrations. Jesus tells how all 10 had gone to meet the bridegroom, taking with them their oil lamps. Five of the bridesmaids were wise and smart, and five were foolish and silly. The wise girls had taken plenty of oil in jars along with their lamps, whereas the foolish ones didn’t take any spare oil with them. When the bridegroom was a long time in coming, the maids all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ The bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps. However, the silly five said to the smart ones, ‘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.
So off they went, and of course, whilst they were away buying oil, the bridegroom came, and they missed him. He and the five wise bridesmaids went inside to join the celebrations and wedding banquet. Then the door was shut.
On returning, the foolish girls could not get in. They knocked on the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Do I know you? No, I don’t’, and the door remained closed.
This parable signifies the Return of Jesus Christ and reminds us how important it is for us to be ready when He does come again. No one knows the day or the hour, but prophecies in the Bible make it very clear that Christ will return one day. Are we going to be ready? Don’t let’s leave it too late and find the door is closed, and we are left outside.
God bless you as you journey with Jesus. Hold on to Him, He’s the ticket to eternity.
4 September 2023