I had this revelation the other day. Maybe Jesus really meant what he said…but we don’t want to believe that he meant what he said because it would be too hard to do.
For example–Jesus said in Matthew 25:35 a bunch of stuff about how if we serve others–we are basically serving him. And what we do to the least of these–we are doing to Jesus. I encourage you to read this whole passage–it is powerful!
31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
I have rationalized and said, “Well, it is too hard to do all that stuff. I am too busy. I can hardly take care of myself and my family. Surely he doesn’t expect me to do all that?”
However, if I lived in a community where we shared resources, lived super simply, supported each other in creating ministries that addressed all the problems Jesus talks about–like helping the hungry and needy–maybe it would not be so hard,
In fact, I have a plan where I want to train community organizers who will empower others to do those things–whether they are followers of Jesus or not. In fact, people who don’t consider themselves Christian might be more inclined to get involved because they aren’t so busy with church activities. You can find this vision here: http://www.patriciamikkelson.wordpress.com
Jesus said that just because people said “Lord, Lord” didn’t mean they were going to make into heaven. He was very clear that it was the people who served the poor and the least of these–and thus served him–would be the ones going to heaven.
Is it possible that the focus on accepting Jesus as your Lord and savior is missing the clear teaching shared in Matthew 25:35?
I am exploring the possibility that it is a lot easier for me to fulfill the teaching in Matthew 25:35 if I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior and have an intimate relationship with him. And I do accept him as that.
But what if someone who has a hard time accepting Jesus as their Lord and savior lives in a community that lives out the teaching of Matthew 25:35 ? Could it be that even though he or she does not say, “Lord, Lord” he or she will still live with Jesus? Seems to me that in this scripture the answer is “Yes” . I am studying other scriptures as well that validate this and look forward to writing more.
I think that the early church was able to live out these teachings because the people shared their resources more. Getting away from that community living was the worst thing that could have happened to the church–and that is when it became more of a religion than a Way.
What are your thoughts?
What do you think of my vision for community here