The Predictions of the King Matthew 24:1-25:46, cont’d.
Matthew 25:31-46-Now, Jesus gives 6 specific examples of how we are to live a life of being prepared, of readiness for His coming…it is a life spent in serving Him by serving others (daily, continually)…
- hungry-who do I know that needs food?
- thirsty-who do I know that needs drink?
- stranger-who do I know that doesn’t have a place to stay, shelter, lodging?
- naked-who do I know that needs clothing, the basics for life?
- sick-who do I know that is elderly, unable to work, hospitalized, homebound?
- prison-who do I know that is being unjustly persecuted for their faith?
“least,” is a superlative degree formed from the word elachus, “little,” the place of which was taken by mikros (the comparative degree being elasson, “less”); it is used of
(a) size, Jam 3:4;
(c) importance, 1Cr 6:2, “smallest (matters);”
(d) authority: of commandments, Mat 5:19;
(http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1646&t=NASB, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)
When Jesus tells us that we are to do these things “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them” (:40), He is telling us to not just stay within our normal circles, but in a sense to start with those that are most depressed (socially, physically, economically, etc.) and to work out from there. Not to look around ourselves and see no one and stop at that point. But to be conscious of everyone. If we aren’t careful, we will only look at those who already have, who are already cared for…and think that there is nothing that we are capable of doing. As someone has said, “There is always someone who is worse off than you are.” Go, find that person, and meet their need in the name of Jesus. Second, He is also telling us to serve those who cannot serve us back, who cannot give us anything in return. Our convictions about God translate into our concern for others…our belief about God, affects our behavior towards people. This is the evidence, the proof that He will find that will identify those that are His.
The distinguishing characteristic between those who will enter the kingdom and those who will not is what they have been doing prior to the time of His coming. Have you been distracted by other things, ultimately unimportant things in light of His coming…or, has His coming guided and directed your life, day by day?
Notice the destinations of the two different groups:
- those who are “blessed” (:34) and that of those who are “accursed” (:41) both go to a place that is eternal (:46);
- those who are blessed are told to “come” (:34), to be where He is…but those who are accursed are told to “depart” (:41) from Him, to be where He is not;
- the blessed will go to a “kingdom” that was prepared especially for them…but the accursed will go to a place of “fire” prepared for the devil (Greek: diabolos) and his angels (:41), a place of punishment (:46).
Prayer: Lord, please show me how to serve You by serving others. So often, I fail to see the needs of those right around me…and how I can help them. I know of people who have problems…but I don’t know what to do, how I can help. Please don’t let me be callous to others…but to have Your heart of compassion. And Father, please help me to share the Gospel with them. Lord, please save them. Don’t allow my loved ones and friends to be eternally lost and separated from You.