Text: Matthew 25:31-46
For Jesus to be both Savior and Teacher to you
For the Spirit to lead you to your ministry
For the least of these
THIS MONTH GRACE IS FOCUSED on its renewed vision and mission, and since the daily lectionary is full of chances to talk about discipleship, the devotions for the next several days will be about why and how we follow Jesus.
The most important point is that we remember that Jesus enters the world as Savior and as Teacher. He rescues us, moves us from the kingdom of sin and death to his own blessed realm, and he teaches us how to live in his kingdom of life and peace. In saving us he does for us what we cannot do for ourselves; in teaching us, he helps us to live, experience the blessing of our salvation.
The order of these are very important! Many believe that you must rightly follow the teaching in order to get the blessing. Your effort is all important, and there is great risk: you may not, in the end, make it if you do not do everything right. But we must understand that in our Lord’s kingdom, things are upturned: because we have been given the blessing of salvation, we gladly follow the teaching. To put it another way, it is the difference between asking “what will you do to get free?” versus “what will you do now that you are free?”
The parable of the least of these is a perfect illustration of this capsized kingdom. The kingdom of sin and death says that there is no point in looking for value in those who have nothing of value, but who are empty and in need. Far better to cultivate those who have power, riches, connections, and status! But for the disciple, the situation is different. The promise comes first: Because I am found among the least of these, then when you serve them, you will encounter me. We go to those who the world says have nothing of value, because, in God’s gloriously topsy-turvy kingdom, it is with those who know and admit their need that Jesus is found. And as I’ve always been told, when Jesus is around, blessings abound!
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks