31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will
sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
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, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he 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. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 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.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
1. The Context of Jesus’ teaching on Kingdom Service
• The signs of His coming and the end of the age (Mt. 24:3): gives details concerning the ages and the Great Tribulation and Christ’s second coming; faithful stewardship; parables of the 10 Virgins and the parable of the talents
• When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne…He will separate the people…(Mt. 25:31-32)
• This is a teaching on the Judgment of unbelievers and the reward of believers at the end of the age
• Our lifestyles and in particular our commitment to being servants of Christ must be seen in light of eternity
2. The Content of Jesus’ teaching on Kingdom Service
• Jesus is sitting on the throne as King and Judge
• The King separates sheep from goats
• The King describes sheep as: those blessed by the Father; those who have been given the Kingdom as an inheritance; the righteous
• The King describes goats as, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels”
• Sheep and goats act differently
• Sheep and goats receive a different reward/judgment for their actions
• Sheep are those who by their actions demonstrate that they have eternal life and they are rewarded by their King
• It is our actions and in particular our servant lifestyles that distinguish us as followers of Jesus Christ. He is our King and we are to live as Kingdom Servants
3. The Conduct of Servants doing Kingdom Service
• The actions that distinguish and identify sheep as sheep are:
1. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
2. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
3. I was a stranger and you invited me in,
4. I needed clothes and you clothed me,
5. I was sick and you looked after me,
6. I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
• Doing it unto the least of these brothers and sisters of mine…( could be the disenfranchised of society, could be the Jews, could be Jesus’ disciples or Christians)
• Of course it is all of these but I think the emphasis is fellow believers, how we treat one another, especially one another in need reflects the true condition of our heart
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
• As those who identify ourselves as sheep, we ought to proactively seek to live like sheep and do the things that sheep do! In order to be Kingdom Servants we must…
1. Surrender our whole lives to Christ and to His Kingdom service
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
2. Adopt a serving mentality
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
• A serving mentality prays about opportunities to serve and prays for those who need to be served
3. Proactively serve others when we see a need
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
• The person in need that we interact with is the neighbor we are to love
• When we become aware of someone in need, we either pray for them if they are already being served, find someone to serve them if we are unable or serve them ourselves. We do not have the option of walking away uninvolved or unconcerned.
• When we serve the least of these in need, we demonstrate that we are true followers of Christ, we bless those in need and we change the world!