Thursday, February 12, 2009


If you’ve been reading the Shiloh Guy over the last week, today’s text might just put you over the edge. You might go away thinking, “This guy is really riding his hobby horse! All he talks about is social justice and the poor.” If you really know me, you know that’s not true. You might actually be surprised at these last three posts. I know I am surprised by them.

I’m just reading straight through my One Year Bible and these are the texts scheduled for my reading. I’m not going out looking for social justice passages, they’re coming to me! In fact, I’m amazed at how many of them I am finding. Gives us reason for pause I would say!

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. For 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

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.”
Matthew 25:34-40

The next verses reflect these. They are the condemnation of those who call Jesus “Lord” yet did none of the abovementioned things.

What life characteristics distinguish the righteous from the wicked in the eyes of the King? The righteous demonstrate love for their neighbors; the wicked don’t. I guess it is what is not mentioned that shouts out so loudly at someone like me who grew up in fundamentalism. The King doesn’t say, “Take your inheritance because you didn’t smoke, drink, dance, go to movies, date non-Christian girls or grow your hair long.” He doesn’t even say, “Come into the kingdom because you accepted me into your heart when you were young.” He looks at the fruit of my life as it relates to my treatment of the wounded and suffering around me.

Look carefully at what the King says at the beginning. “Come, you who are blessed by my Father.” He’s saying, “I can tell you have been blessed by my Father and are therefore my brother because of the way your treated your neighbors.” In other words, if I do these righteous things it is because the Father blessed (called, adopted, redeemed, ransomed, justified) me!

Two things leap out at me from this passage. My righteousness is a result of the Father’s blessing, not my works. And, most Christian people I know are not looking at the same fruit that the King is looking at. What do you think?


At 1:31 AM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

logyncrWhat do I think? I think you are right. i think we naturally grope for greatness, some shred of recognition, accomplishment.
Look at the photo of the little boy who leans his head. He needs. The question isn't whether the sight brings sappy tears to my eyes...or makes me feel shock, but if I count my life as worth spending for him...or someone else.
I want to hear "well done" from God. Even if all I do is fight my own pride- God have mercy on me!


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