Thursday Reflections – Matthew 25: 31-46 – The World in Front of the Text

This week we’re going to be looking at a passage that has both formed me and given me much need for self-reflection. The passage is Matthew 25: 31- 46

Today we’re going be looking at the world, in front of the text.  What does this passage mean to me into you in the living of our lives? There are certain passages of Scripture that are always very encouraging to me  Isiah 43. Romans 8 Revelation 21.

But Matthew 25 the passage that I often say haunts me.  The reason I say that is because this passage seems to indicate that how we treat the least among us, will have some impact upon our eternity.

Now, a quick word. The way this passage should be understood is much like the teaching that the Bible has about faith in works. We understand that we are not saved by our works, we are saved by our faith in faith alone.  However, our faith will produce works within our life.  So we are not saved by our works, but our works are the indication that we have faith.  We are not saved by how we treat the poor.  But this passage seems to indicate to me that how we treat the poor is an indication of our salvation.

This is one of those passages that show us what the sanctified life should look like.

We see that we are to treat the poor with dignity and respect. We are to take care of the ones that do not have adequate clothing or food.  We are to even take care of the prisoner, and that will be something that is often challenging for us.  This was an especially meaningful passage for John Wesley because his father spent time in the debtors’ prison in England.

Wesley saw how his father was a good man, but because of debt was locked into prison. This affected Wesley, and the way he treated prisoners. And I think it’s a good example for us to see the worth and the humanity, even of the prisoner.

There is no one outside of the grace of God, not the poor. Not the prisoner. Not the frail, but all are worthy of God’s love and God’s grace.

How do we treat these in need?  How do we treat those without this passes causes me to ponder and to wrestle with these things?  This passage has caused me to reflect on how I use my resources. This passage causes me to reflect on how I use my time. 

This passage has caused me to reflect upon this.  Am I living a life that is outward, or a life that is inward? The temptation that we often face within our life is to live lives that are inward, focusing upon us and our needs, and our wants, and only doing the minimal requirements for who are outside of our bubble. This passage makes it appear as though, how we treat those outsides of our bubble and how we treat those that are in need is an indication of how our life is being grown by God’s grace.  

The question then is asked, What can we do, how can we do these things. Tomorrow we will spend time looking at some ways practically that you and I can help.

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