2021_03_29 Insight Post- Kim Feld
This week's reading- Matthew 25
Our reading pace will slow down a little as we wrap up the book of Matthew, reading a chapter a week for the next few weeks. In Matthew 25, Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 24 continues in what is sometimes referred to as the Olivet Discourse. This is His teaching regarding events in the not terribly distant future for His listeners (the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70) and things to come in the future. The message is simple: be ready.
One of the major themes of the book of Matthew is the Kingdom of God. With Jesus’ arrival on earth, the Kingdom of God was ushered in, but it won’t be realized in its fullness until He returns again. In the meantime, He means for us to be busy, doing our Father’s business, pointing others to Him. Jesus spent a lot of time in the teaching that Matthew has recorded, saying, “it’s not like this, but like this.” It’s not about winning or having power; it’s about serving and having humility. It’s not about striving for status; it’s about recognizing our worth in being created in the image of God. It’s not about empty sacrifice and appearances; it’s about justice, mercy, faithfulness, and love.
It’s striking to me that Jesus wraps up this teaching by talking about showing compassion in tangible ways to others. He goes so far as to say that we are doing it for Him when we do this for others. And that this is a true sign of being His follower. The Bible clarifies that we are saved by what God does for us through Jesus (see Titus 3:4-7) but our salvation should motivate us to love and do good for others (see James 1:27). Look at this in James 2:26: “Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.” Showing compassion to others is life-giving! Have you ever noticed how good it makes you feel to help someone? I believe this is by design and connects us to the image of God that we bear. We have such a good Father who wants only what’s best for us. He knows that getting outside of ourselves and showing compassion to others benefits us as well as those we serve.
Jesus is warning us to be ready, but at the same time, He’s also telling us to not be fixated on the “when” because only the Father knows. We are to prepare our hearts to meet Him face to face. We are to share our faith with others. We are to grow and cultivate the gifts and talents He has given us to make this world look more like His Kingdom. And we are to combine all that to be a force for good in our broken world. We indeed need to be ready, but don’t sit around looking at the sky; live, love, and learn.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach