In ancient days there lived a great nobleman. His only child was a daughter who was of age to be married. So the nobleman decided to throw a great celebration in his castle that would last for days. He would invite all the young noblemen of the entire area to participate in this grand festival. Surely during this time a suitable husband could be found for his daughter.
The appointed day came and the guests began to arrive. Eligible young men began to enjoy the merriment and the great feasts. They did the things young men do to impress a young woman.
A beggar in an old cloak appeared at the door of the castle and began to knock. At first they paid him no mind. He persisted so someone threw him a few crumbs of bread. Still he would not go away. Someone cried, “Throw him a few coins. That will get rid of him for sure.” This was done to no effect. The beggar kept knocking.
“Go away,” they threatened, “or we’ll unleash the dogs on you.” But he continued to knock with his crutches.
They opened the door and asked, “What is it you want?” “Is this not the day for guests to come to seek the nobleman’s daughter? I have come to ask for her hand.”
The beggar edged into the courtyard as word spread throughout the castle. Guests gathered to mock and laugh at this poor deluded vagrant.
The daughter soon heard the talk and the laughter and asked what the commotion was all about. “It’s just a poor, crippled beggar who wants to marry you.” “I’ll go and see him,” she said.
The young woman approached the beggar, “What is it you want?”
“I’ve seen you while I myself was unnoticed. I love you deeply and want to marry you.”
She paused, looked into his face, and, barely heard above the laughter she replied, “Yes, I will marry you.”
“When,” he asked.
“In a year and a day.”
“Very good, I will return for you,” and he limped away.
“You are smarter than we thought,” her friends said. “You sure knew how to get rid of him.”
She quietly insisted, “But I meant what I said.”
Knowing she could not be serious, the crowd continued their laughter and celebration. The festival resumed but the young woman gave them no encouragement. It finally came to an end on a note of gloom.
The nobleman was a good man but greatly disappointed. He counseled his daughter to no avail. He explained how all his money spent for the party had now been a waste. “My wonderful daughter marry a beggar? You know he will never return for you.”
A long, cruel year ensued. There was much derision. The daughter would only smile and say, “I’ve made my choice and he will return.”
The year slowly passed. The next day arrived uneventful. But at noon something happened. Peals of music and trumpets were heard in the distance. An imperial messenger rode with fury to the castle gate announcing the arrival of the king’s son, the royal prince.
There was no time to prepare. The nobleman, with his daughter, barely had time to reach the castle gate. What a sight they saw. As far as the eye could see were rows of knights and servants of the king. The great prince rode a majestic white horse, and was dressed in the finest clothing and armor. His face shined like the sun.
The prince stepped down from the horse, “My love, I’ve come back for you just as I promised.” Through tears she whispered, “I knew you would come.”
The prince took his bride to his kingdom in a far country. As they left, one of her maids barely had time to ask, “How did you ever know that the beggar was a prince in disguise?” The bride replied, “I looked deeply into his eyes. There was something special in his voice. Deep within, I knew he was the son of the king.”
Many of you have been the laughing stock of the world. Some feel sympathy for you in your delusion. How could you give your heart to One who came in humility and was despised by men? You are mocked and misunderstood. But there was something in His eyes, His words, His deeds. Your heart was strangely warmed. You knew He was the Prince of Peace.
One day soon, Jesus will return for you, His bride.
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” -1 Peter 2:7
Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! -Revelation 19:9
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 2, AD 2010.