30 Aug Jesus In Disguise
Jesus In Disguise
Verses to read:
<Matthew 25: 31-46>
31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 ‘Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
37 ‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we see you ill or in prison and go to visit you?”
40 ‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
41 ‘Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was ill and in prison and you did not look after me.”
44 ‘They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or ill or in prison, and did not help you?”
45 ‘He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”
46 ‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’
1. The final sieving.
1) The sheep (blessed) <v34>.
- Chosen, loved and saved by God.
- 2 key characteristics of sheep:
– Needy (defenseless).
– Meek (humble).
2) The goat (cursed) <v41>.
- Failure to do right: Did not acknowledge God as God.
- It is NOT about salvation by good works.
- Basis of judgment is not how charitable one is, but how does he respond to the gospel of salvation?
3) Why are sheep and goats temporarily put together?
- Chance for repentance (goats), and accumulating more crowns (sheep).
2. “What have you done for the least of these brothers and sisters?”
1) Exercise practical kindness on fellow Christians.
- Followers of Jesus = Jesus
<Gal 6:10>Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
<Jas 2> 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
- Faith comes with actions and real compassion and love.
2) Personal reflections.
- Have we been responding with love and practical help?
- People around us who are hungry for love, craving for warm understanding, need help in ministries, the newcomer who walks in to the church, etc.
3. Care for those outside the church.
1) We have what they need – Gospel -> Share it!
2) Relationship between Christians and charitable/humanitarian work?
- “Social gospel” is controversial.
(a) Christians are called to be Good Samaritans and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” ― Theodore Roosevelt
(b) Acknowledge the limitations of charitable work: It is a means not the end.
(c) When will social gospel go wrong?
- Focus on humanitarian efforts but lost the aim of saving souls.
- Attribute the root of problems to human systems rather than human sin.
- The here-and-now > The eternal
- Earthly circumstances > Eternal destiny
- Human rights > God’s sovereignty
- Cannot reduce the gospel to just good works, charity and human rights.
(d) Then how to balance it all?
- Don’t fall into extremes: Not “either/or”, but “both/and”.
- Evangelise through words and works.
- God-centered not man-centered.
- Gospel (save soul) > Charity.
How do you think you are doing in terms of rendering practical help to fellow Christians? How can you improve on this?
After hearing today’s message, do you think Christians should be involved in charitable work? If a non-Christian were to tell you not to preach so much about Jesus but do more charity work to help others, how do you think you can engage him/her on a meaningful dialogue?