In our last few visits we have considered two parables in Matthew 25, the parable of the ten virgins and the parable of the talents. The first parable indicated the need for the indispensable presence of the Holy Spirit if we are to be ready for that day, which could be any day or crisis, or more specifically, the Day of the Lord. The second parable made it clear that we are to be diligent in using our gifts or talents so we will be ready to meet our master on that day.
The last teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25 is about the sheep and the goats. Jesus refers to the nations being brought before Him to hear His assessment of how they treated those in need of help.
Jesus said, “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.” When they asked when they had done this He said, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Conversely, if you didn’t do these things for the least, you in fact, didn’t do them for Me. Selfless service to others, especially to the least of them, is noticed and rewarded by God.
If nations are considered on this basis, surely God looks at individuals in the same way. Genuine selfless service is done not for recognition or reward, it is done in humility and grace as a natural expression of Christ’s love flowing through us. This can only happen if we are saved and energized by the Holy Spirit.