Matthew 25:12

ESV But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
NIV But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I don't know you.'
NASB But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’
CSB "He replied, 'Truly I tell you, I don't know you! '
NLT But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
KJV But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

What does Matthew 25:12 mean?

It's helpful to remember that, apparently, the ten young, unmarried women who were waiting for the bridegroom had not met him before. He was coming to collect his bride, it seems, but also to meet the wedding party, including these ten young women. The five who were not prepared because they did not have oil were never introduced to him since they were not present when he came (Matthew 25:1–11). Now, well after the appropriate time, they have their oil and have knocked on the door to join the celebration. The bridegroom says simply that he does not know them. He will not let them in.

This conclusion may seem overly harsh to modern ears. Should a young woman who has simply forgotten extra oil for her lamp be barred from participating in a great event like this? It's important to remember that local customs of this day are different from the more casual attitudes of many modern people toward relationships and celebrations. The situation is different, as well: someone arriving unexpectedly late, rather than coming with the rest of the procession, might well be an imposter or even a threat.

It's also important to remember that Jesus is making a point about His own return, and those who follow Him. He is the Bridegroom in this story, and He may return at any time to collect His bride. It will not matter that some are waiting for Him if they do not prepare for His return. What does it mean to be prepared for the second coming of Christ? Thus far, Jesus has shown that being prepared means being busy doing the work He has given to us to do, faithfully and wisely. The New Testament will go on to show that being prepared also means trusting in Christ for salvation now, for our place in the eternal wedding party, instead of waiting until it's too late.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: