There have been so many things going on in my head recently. It’s like my mind is an ocean, filled with sharks …and fish …and mermaides …and unicorns….
Wait….Unicorns don’t live in the ocean, Frances!
Have mercy on my soul! We all make mistakes.
So, to get back on track. I’d like to discuss a simple yet eyeopening message that the Holy Spirit has been engraving into my heart lately.
Warning: You will NOT be mindblown.
Sorry, but you just will not be.
Well, maybe you will be. I don’t know.
My prayer is simply that you will be encouraged 🙂
Alright. Now that my introduction is out of the way, let’s move forward , shall we?
In the book of Matthew, we find Jesus telling his disciples: “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 25:40 (NIV).
What is Jesus talking about? What is the King responding to, you ask? Great questions!
Jesus is talking about His return. A few versus back, Jesus explained that when the King returns, people will be separated into sheeps and goats. The sheeps, on his right side, will be welcomed into His eternal Kingdom for they had served Him. This is great, right? They should’ve clicked their heels forward in a joyful manner, right?
Well, it is interesting because the sheep actually respond to the King’s invitation in a confused manner. They ask: “when?” When did they give him a drink? give Him food? clothe Him?
The king graciously responds with His infamous words, “whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (v. 40).
Now, Jesus continues to explain that the goats would not be accepted: “Then He [the King] 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. For I was hungry and you have me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I 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” -Matthew 25:41
The overarching and obvious idea, in my opinion, is that humanity will be separted by God into: one, those who served; and two, those who failed to serve.
Thinking more deeply about this piece of scripture, however, it is vitally important that we understand that the sheep did not know they served Christ as they served their fellow humans.
Please don’t get it twisted though. We, as humans, are not God. And, God is not a Human.
While the two previous statement are completely true. We cannot avoid the fact that Jesus made a connection between the King himself and Us, humans.
Therefore, I am confident that this connection needs to be explored and discussed.
A great place to start is at the beginning.
“So God created man in his own image.
In the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them”
-Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
As we move forward in time, we learn that humanity is sinful and separated from the Holy One. In fact, in the old testament, only selected individuals were allowed to enter the sacred Temple. An individual was designated to petition for forgiveness before God within the temple. Humanity, as a whole, did not have full access to the Great One.
As we continue on within the New Testament, we learn that God came down to earth to conquer death and sin. He defeated the grave so humanity is no longer separated from the Holy One. Humanity, as a whole, has full access to the Holy One now.
Can I get a Hallelujah!? Amen!? LOL 🙂
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” -John 3:17 (NIV)
Contining on to After Christ’s Death (A.D.) time, we see that Jesus’ disciples also teach that a connection exhists between humanity and the Holy One.
Paul writes to the Roman church: “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” -Romans 8:11 (NIV)
Paul writes to the Christian saints of Ephesus: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” -Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
THE CONNECTION: Although God is not human, He did take on humanly flesh for the purpose of saving our lives. Second, Although humanity is not God, each and every single person carries a piece of God within him/her because humanity has been created in His image.
King David beautifully writes, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully
made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well”
-Psalm 119:14 (NIV)
To summarize, the previous statements are inapropriatley labeled as false, but can more appropriately be termed as incomplete. Am I right?!
So, what is the relevance of this connection? Uh-mazing question.
I had been wrestling with the question and asking myself: What does it look like within my behaviors to fully embrace this connection in my everyday life?
1: I would have more GRACE and PATIENCE in sticky, conflicting situations.
2: I would uplift my fellow human in words and in actions instead of tearing him/her down.
3: I would have more GRACE and PATIENCE with myself.
The Fruits of the Spirit would easily flow through each and every one of us.
Our cups would runneth over!
Personally, I absolutely LOVE worship services. I stop and look around thinking, Woah. God you showed up big time ….in the flesh and spirit.
If you take anything away from this post, I pray that it’s a newfound view of your fellow God-made Human OR even yourself. They are not perfect. No-one is. They may have acted in an unjustifed and corrupt manner. We all have at some point in time.
Simply remember to activate the living spirit we have been graciously given!
. . . .AND
The difference between a sheep and a goat is treating your fellow human as if they were the Holy One himself ( this includes yourself as well! ).
LORD, Thank you for dying on the cross and defeating the grave in order to save us from ourselves. Thank you for loving us when we did not deserve it. I pray that you open our hearts and minds to your spirit’s calling. Give us the strength to see and treat each and every single human being as if they were a treasure. Fill us with grace, humility, and patience as we battle with our sinful flesh. Your’s is the VICTORY!