Tuesday: Loving Service
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What is the basic message of Matthew 25:31-46?

Image © Consuelo Udave from GoodSalt.com

Image © Consuelo Udave from GoodSalt.com

At the final day there will be many surprises. Those at the right hand of the Son of Man never imagined that their manifestation of unselfish love would be so decisive. Christ will not commend them for the eloquent sermons they have delivered, the valuable work they have done, or the generous donations they have given. Instead, Christ shall welcome them into heaven for the little caring things done to the least of His brethren.

Those at the left-hand will also be surprised at the reason given by the King for His verdict. Some of them will even say: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? (Matt. 7:22, NKJV). Although these are desirable deeds, without a loving attitude they are worthless. These people professed to serve Christ, but the Lord never knew them (Matt. 7:23) because they never really loved Him or His brethren. They didn’t practice the principles of true religion (see James 1:27).

Commentators have suggested various interpretations regarding who are the least of these My brethren (Matt. 25:40). It is important to determine who they are in order to know the extent of our Christian responsibility. Some interpreters argue that Jesus’ least brethren are the apostles and other Christian missionaries. They find support for this view in Matthew 10:40-42 and conclude that the fate of all human beings depends on how they treat Christian missionaries. Other scholars claim, based on Matthew 12:48-50, that Jesus’ least brethren are His followers in general. There is no doubt that all the disciples of Jesus are His brethren; but the scope of Jesus’ words seems to be even wider. Christ identifies Himself with every child of humanity. . . . He is the Son of man, and thus a brother to every son and daughter of Adam. — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 638.

Think of a time when you were in desperate need of help, and someone came to your aid. What did that aid mean to you in your suffering and pain? How did that experience show why it’s so important that we be willing to help others who are in need in any way we can?

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Tuesday: Loving Service — 10 Comments

  1. The least that Jesus is talking about are those persons whom society deems as being"misfits." These include and are not limited to: the mentally ill, the homeless beggar, the abandoned child, the person suffering from an illness that is deemed as contagious etc. Whenever we reach out to people like these from a heart of love, this is what Jesus wants. While Jesus was here on earth; He touched the leper, He touched the woman with the issue of blood, He touched the blind, He spoke to the naked woman caught in adultery and the list goes on. Jesus wants us to do as He did and take care of the poor and the "misfits" as society would have us brand them. All human beings were created by God and it is sad to see how the devil has changed the image of God in some of the persons that we come in contact with. It is our God given duty to help these persons because no one knows what can happen to them in life and we should all remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus and take heed lest the same fate befall us.

    Like(43)
    • Let us always remember the love that we exhibit to others must be motivated by God's Spirit. All other "love" that is selfishly motivated and for the purpose of personal gain (even to stay out of hell fire) is "filthy rag" righteousness. When Jesus lives in us by His Spirit and motivates our actions we cannot do anything from selfish motivation (see Romans 8) unless we don't watch and pray and are taken in by temptation to revert to old habits of behavior which were developed by selfish motivation.

      Like(7)
      • This is it. Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you ( AMEN ).. Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please GOD. Motivation is the determining factor!

        Like(2)
  2. The "least" that Jesus is talking about are and not limited to: the mentally ill, the blind, the abandoned child, the person suffering from a contagious disease, the beggar on the streets etc. Jesus while here on earth, He touched these persons physically, as well as their lives and He wants us to do the same. There are so many times when we pass them by because they smell bad or in need of a bath. I am sure that the demoniac whom Jesus set free must have smelt horrible, but He took the time out to assist him. The lady with the issue of blood for twelve years must have smelt bad as well, but she touched Jesus and by faith received her healing. Like Jesus, we need to reach out to these persons and help them because they are fellow human beings and not just a charity case or something to be done to add to our resume.God who reads the hearts knows our motives and will reward us accordingly for our works.

    Like(21)
  3. I think the least of the brethren are those that are cast out because we don’t see eye to eye with them Mat_5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Like Christ and the Apostles ,and all the reformers, It is for a fact they are never well treated, by organized leadership that have not brought the whit raiment of Christ , there is a price ,also those who as the blind man that was thrown out for confessing Christ. There is no love for those that are independent thinkers.
    Matt. 25:31-40 -- "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations
    "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me." {DA 637.2}
    Jesus had told His disciples that they were to be hated of all men, to be persecuted and afflicted. Many would be driven from their homes, and brought to poverty. Many would be in distress through disease and privation. Many would be cast into prison. To all who forsook friends or home for His sake He had promised in this life a hundredfold. Now He assured a special blessing to all who should minister to their brethren. In all who suffer for My name, said Jesus, you are to recognize Me. As you would minister to Me, so you are to minister to them. This is the evidence that you are My disciples. {DA 637.3}
    We have to be careful how we treat one another in the name of religion. Christ will appear to their joy and we will be shamed, even to damnation.

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  4. Jesus died for everyone, therefore everyone who needs help should be helped, the Bible named a few people, but we see every day so many more needy people begging to be helped. May we have a 'heart' today.

    Like(2)
  5. I believe that the least amongst us are those who are aimlessly drifting without the Saviour. Those destitute of the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whether they be rich or poor in their earthly estates. Jesus wants us to be neighbours to these lost / wandering souls. Be it that they have fallen amongst thieves or living in their palaces, not knowing Jesus robs them of the joy of living and gift of love that comes from GOD.

    There are some walking the path to everlasting life, enriched by the Saviour's love but yet still growing in grace and the character of Jesus, that will give you the opportunity of growth. Turn not them away for tis your Saviour that sent them to experience the fullness of His LOVE by your hands.

    Let Jesus' definition of christian living be the essence of your life. By this men will know you are my disciples....show love one to another. This love comes only from GOD.

    Love always

    Like(5)
  6. I have no doubt in my mind that what Jesus taught had to do with physical problems in the same way that the parable of the good Samaritan was. While I feel that is so I also have looked at the spiritual side of what Jesus says in Matt 25 especially when I consider what Revelation says about the Laodicean church, “do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev 3:17 NKJV). Are we really that way physically? Jesus also said, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Lk 4:18-19 NKJV). We also need to understand that while Jesus talked of visiting those in prison He never did that even with John the Baptist but He did release the captives of sin and healed the poor in spirit.

    So who are those that are naked, blind, in prison, hungry, etc.? I think we need to see the two sides of this issue and realize that there are times when we cannot help physically but we can lift up a sinking spirit, we can bring a little sunshine into someone’s life or as the parable of the servants says, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes” (Lk 12:42-43 NKJV). Is this physical food? We need to read the context before verse 42 especially where Jesus says, “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing” (Lk 12:23 NKJV).

    There is something else I would like to say here as well. I have always advocated using wisdom in our interaction with other people. I worked for a time in a group home and cared for people who for one reason or another could not survive on their own. While we can look at someone who is in a wheelchair and have pity we need to understand that many of them have a strong sense of independence and become extremely irritated with the good doer who treats them like a cripple. Furthermore, there is a group of those we deem “less fortunate” that are like sponges, that quickly become an incredibly dependant parasite who start making demands of those willing to help rather than developing skills on their own. It is often not to their advantage to do everything for them. So I still advocate Godly wisdom and understanding in everything we do; to be the light of the world and burden bearer, to be the best that we can be as an ambassador and servant of Christ.

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  7. When I had my second baby a lady from the church came over and made a meal for my family. I will never forget her sweet kindness, and when we moved churches and someone has a new baby I help organize people to bring over meals for the first week or so.

    Like(12)
  8. What can we do as a church to help those christians and Yazidis being slaughtered by ISIS at this moment and the same with the plight of the Palestinian people. My heart burns within me to see their suffering and helplessness. I just can't stop thinking of them while I study about love, God's will, and our responsibility in this week's Sabbath school.

    Like(7)

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