These past two Sundays we have witnessed Jesus’ final days of life. Read about it in Matthew 25. Death is on his mind. He takes the time to tell stories about the end of time. It begs a response from us. How will we ever prepare for his death, and our own death?! Is the point of his stories simply to scare us? Of course not. We don’t have a God who would come out of the dark and jump at us at any moment. Rather, Jesus’ point is clear…how shall we live in the meantime? As I said in yesterday’s sermon, the question isn’t, “Will we be ready to meet Jesus at the end?” The question is, “Now that we have already met Jesus, how should we live?”
If we’re going to follow Jesus, then we can’t follow him without evaluation. Have you ever noticed the connection between the words disciple and discipline? Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that, in the end, there will be an exam. There will be grades. What have we done with what has been given to us? You and I have been given the words of the Bible; did we follow them with the right deeds?
Do you know the same Jesus I know? The Jesus who is always lifting up the failures of this world, and who shares compassion on those who are downtrodden? Do you know the Love I know; a Love that motivates, inspires, and energizes? In these stories of Matthew 25, what strikes me the most is that it is Jesus who takes the most risk. He gives his all. He lays in on the line. That trust in us is the most extravagant grace I know. In the words of the old hymn, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.”
Peace, Pastor Gary