Matt 7 – Many will come in that day and say, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we do a lot of stuff in your name?” Jesus will tell them, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
We live in such a clichéd society. We give people awards for writing great songs. We idolize those who perform in front of large crowds. We think because they reach lots of people they must be doing something great for Jesus. But what are they teaching the crowds?
We boil down faith to what fits on a bumper sticker or a shirt. We think because we “read the Bible” we know what we are talking about. I’ve seen a bumper sticker that said basically “Do Acts 2:38,” as if faith can be boiled down to one verse in a group of 66 books.
Luke 17:7-10 – “…we have only done what is our duty.”
Jesus tells a parable about and master and his servant. The servant worked in the field, but the master expected to be served first before the servant sat down to eat. How many of us expect the accolades to be laid upon us when “we have only done what is our duty.” Love is in such small quantities now days that when we do something in the name of Christ we expect to be recognized for it.
In reality we need to look at the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew. “When did we do these things, Lord?” Love has become a natural part of the Spirit of God living within the servant of Christ that they just do. They don’t think about what is their “Christian duty.” It is a part of who they are.
Matt 5:41 “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”
/verb, com·pelled, com·pel·ling.
verb (used with object)
1. to force or drive, especially to a course of action: His disregard of the rules compels us to dismiss him.
2. to secure or bring about by force.
3. to force to submit; subdue.
4. to overpower.
At the time Jesus said what he did the Roman empire was in control. A soldier could grab anyone off the street and make them carry his pack for a mile by law. Simple Biblical example. Simon was made to carry Jesus’ cross by a Roman guard.
We don’t like to be MADE to do anything. We don’t even like to do what we’re paid to do most of the time. We have laws that make it possible that we don’t have to go the extra mile. We don’t want to be bothered with doing something extra when it’s “not part of my job.”
We are a ‘proud’ people. We think because we went to college or are a supervisor or CEO of a company there are things that are beneath us to do.
Or on the other end of the spectrum we may be an unskilled worker who thinks just because he or she shows up for work they demand a high wage. Working a job that requires working with the public doesn’t require any type of civility. We don’t like going out of our way to make the customer’s experience pleasant.
Matthew 20:1-16 Jesus told a parable about a man who hired worker in the morning, midday and at the end of the day. Finally when he paid everyone he paid them all the same. The ones who started in the morning objected because “Hey, we worked longer than them! We want more.” The master asked the servants “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?”
We live in uncertain economic times. Those who don’t have a lot do begrudge those who live in mansions. We think they need to give up some of their stuff and give it to us, whether we deserve it or not.
It was once said, “That which you strive to attain, you strive to maintain.” We will spend hours on our stuff but don’t want to take a few minutes just to sit and talk to someone who is hurting. We complain when we are taken away from our ‘favorite shows’ to help someone move.
We live in a society with a number of homeless families, yet we have apartments for our stuff. We rent storage units, build bigger sheds for our stuff. We box things up and don’t look at them for years.
Matt 25:31-46 – The sheep asked Jesus, “When did we do these things, Lord?” He told them, “As you’ve done it to the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.”
What Jesus said isn’t what should become our “Rules for Christians.” What Jesus was trying to get across is behavior that should be characteristic of someone committed to Him.
We love him, because He first loved us. What does that mean? It means that He DID for us. He GAVE His life for us. He DIED for us, so that we might LIVE for Him.
Living for Jesus means going that extra mile, sharing a meal, taken on each other’s burdens, rejoicing with those who rejoice, mourning with those who mourn.
I can’t expect others to live like this if I’m not living like this. But then again, others can’t expect me to follow their rules if they go against what I believe Jesus is requiring of me.
I Corinthians 13:1-8
Doesn’t matter what you do, if it doesn’t have love it means nothing. What does that mean, if it is not grounded in God it means nothing. If we think what we do makes us right with God, we miss that point of what Jesus did. What Jesus did made us right with God. What we do is fruit of what is inside of us. (Reference back to Matt 25:31-46)
Love Jesus, eat cheese cake, listen to Pink Floyd