Saturday, October 23, 2010


I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

-Matthew 25:45

How many times have you read this verse, or had it taught to you? How many sermons have you heard which used this scripture?

I've heard and read this, many times. I usually get the same moral out of it: we are to regard the less-fortunate among us as if they were Jesus Himself. When we read this scripture, it's supposed to remind us that we are to be sensitive to the lowly; generous to the poor; sympathetic to the downtrodden.

But wait...if you really think about it...we are to regard the less-fortunate among us as if they were Jesus Himself?

Sure, you can take that as a sort of "symbolic" lesson. But really, is that how Jesus means it? Or does He mean it to be a literal commandment for you to care for the homeless man at the subway...the neighbor who has cancer...the mentally impaired boy at the bowling alley...the relative who is poor and needy...the sex slave in Thailand...the orphan in if they were God Himself?

If you saw Jesus the Christ, the God and Savior of the world, in need and begging on a street corner, filthy and hungry...what wouldn't you do for Him?

What if He means it literally?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting It

Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God".

-Luke 9:61-62

This is an intriguing piece of scripture. Seems a bit harsh for Jesus to reply in such a manner, no?

What do you think this person thought when Jesus replied in such a way? Perhaps something like this:

"Sheesh! I just told Jesus I was going to forsake my own plans and follow him. All I want to do is go say bye to my family, and he doesn't have the courtesy to let me do that!?"

If we're honest with ourselves, though...we sometimes treat God like this.

God has saved us, but we'll obey when and where it's convenient. God has commanded us to do something, but we'll do it "when/after/once/as soon as" - and we decide to obey His command on our own terms.

At first glance, this scripture can be a bit of a struggle. At least for me it can be. It seems like Christ is being a bit "unreasonably" harsh. Not fit for the kingdom of God, because he wants to go back and bid his family farewell?

This is one of those scriptures you need to "think on" a bit. And here's what I think.

The person Jesus is speaking with doesn't "get it". Had he realized the hugeness of the situation he was in the middle of, he wouldn't have been thinking about saying goodbye to his family. He would have been awestruck, focuses solely on the Savior. Running toward Him. Forsaking everything else in full realization that he had found the one true treasure of eternity.

The modern equivalent? Those who are Christians, who follow Jesus, but don't give Him everything. They say, "Lord, I'm yours! But I want to keep this...this...and, that thing too. I'll hang onto those".

No! If you "get it", none of those other things matter! You've found the true treasure of eternity! Don't look back!