Author: Steve Quen, Senior Pastor, Bay Area Bible Church, San Leandro
34 “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. 35 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, 36 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.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “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, NIV)
While working as a software engineer, we would have quarterly department meetings, run by my boss’ boss. During these meetings one employee would receive the “Living Our Values” award. You would be eligible to receive this through some deed that exemplified one or more of the company’s core values. The employee would get a “trophy” and a dinner for two anywhere you would like (until people started abusing it!). Well at a particular meeting the “big” boss started describing this employee and what he had done, after a while to my surprise, I realized he was speaking about me! I had won this award even when I wasn’t consciously trying to win it, and honestly couldn’t articulate the core values of our company. No matter where on the future timeline we place this passage, or who we define as “sheep”, “goats” and “least of these brothers”, sometime in the future, Jesus is going to commend some believers, to their surprise, who have loved Him at great risk, without consciously trying. This loves the Lord far beyond serving Him out of duty or expectation, or obeying Him to win the approval of others. It even is going beyond asking ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” because that involves thinking. It is the challenge of “living the values” of Jesus, because His life has become part of our life, because we truly are growing in having the “mind of Christ,” it is living the scriptures because they are truly internalized into our life! This could be one of the highest rewards for a Christian! The believers in this passage give us an example of transformed lives, lives changed from the inside out, by the resurrection power of Christ and this kind of life is available for believers today.
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior