Remember the game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”? The contestants were asked various trivia questions on all kinds of topics followed by four possible answers to ponder then choose. When they finally decided on their answer, the moderator would always ask, “Is that your final answer?” In other words, have you thought that through clearly? Have you, by the process of elimination, concluded that what you are choosing is indeed the right answer? The moderator, Regis, took great joy in trying to trip up the contestants or cause them to rethink with, “Are you sure, is that your final answer?”
Jesus does not do that to us. His teaching is clear. Jesus is trustworthy. God never changes in His ways and Jesus points this out in the following scenario. The gravity of this teaching is based on God’s love for all who He has created. Jesus shares that when we are helping and serving each other, one of His created, we are serving Him!
John, the beloved disciples of Jesus, tells us in his writings, that God’s love is in us who believe and daily know God. (1 John 4) To know God is to know the love of God. If we do not know God then we don’t know love. Love serves and helps without even thinking about it. It is a lifestyle. It is not a program or even on a list of ministries. Serving with the love of God in us does not require a committee to decide if the person being served is worthy. The only thought is that person needs help and God put me here to help.
Notice that those, (the righteous, in right standing with God) who are doing what God wants, had to ask when did we do these acts of love and kindness to you? Jesus’ reply is priceless, “‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” Serving others, each other, is serving Jesus Christ the King! This is the final answer. This is Truth.
Matthew—God’s Word Fulfilled
Matthew 25:31-46, NLT
The Final Judgment
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
EPILOGE – SOMETHING MORE TO REALIZE
There are only two choices in this life. We love with God’s love in us, learn to know God more each day, serve and help others or we do not. Jesus is pretty clear about what happens when we avoid helping others.
“God so love the world that He sent His Son…” Most of us can finish reciting John 3:16 but do we go beyond reciting to loving relationships with Jesus and with others? Love God. Love Others like He loves us. We learned earlier from Matthew that these are the two greatest commandments, not suggestions, that all other commandments are based upon. Love God first and always. Love Others like God loves us. This is His final answer. What is ours?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Your word this morning convicts and challenges all at the same time. I repent of missed opportunities to serve you by serving others in need when presented with the choice. Restore and renew the joy of your salvation in me. Help me to realize the depth of your love, help, mercy and grace to me for it is then that I can love others more deeply with your love in me. You have shown me your ways. Help me now to fulfill what I know you want from me. Help me to serve without over-thinking about it. Deliver us from the evil one who plants overthinking in our minds. May we have the mind of you in us. Continue to transform me to be and do all you created me to be and do.
In Jesus Name, Amen