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Friday, September 29th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Matthew 25

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-13

  1. Intro:
    1. Jesus continues his end times teachings on the Mount of Olives. Jesus know tells another parable that underscores His call to be prepared for the Son of Man’s arrival.
    2. Slide13 Parable of the Ten Virgins (only in Mt.).
      1. We have here a suspenseful picture of the Lord’s own return.
      2. It’s a pointed lesson intended to teach Preparedness.
    3. Note as I read: Jesus is the bridegroom (His 2nd Coming). His bride is not mentioned (actually we the church will be coming back with Him). But the story line is built around the 10 virgins, guests at a wedding/ or poss maids of honor/attendants to the bride, representing those alive (Jews) right before his 2nd coming to earth.
  2. PREPARATION (1-9)
    1. Explain the whole marriage process in the ancient Jewish Tradition:
      1. The prospective groom-to-be left his Fathers house to go to the prospective brides house.
        1. Jesus came to earth; His 1st advent.
      2. The groom negotiated & paid the price to secure the bride.
        1. His precious blood was our price, or our dowry.
      3. Once the price was paid the cov was established. They were betrothed, set apart for each other, though not married yet.
        1. We believers are betrothed (engaged/set apart) right now awaiting our wedding day.
      4. They both drank from a cup to confirm this cov.
        1. This is symbolic in communion, as Jesus did at the last supper.
      5. After this the Groom left the Bride’s house & went back to his fathers house.
        1. Jesus left earth/the brides home, went back to heaven. I go to prepare a place for you.
      6. During the separation, the bride would prepare her wardrobe & prepare for married life. The groom prepared the living accommodations in his fathers house.
        1. Her wardrobe: white gown/holiness/sanctification.
        2. The living accommodations: In my fathers house are many mansions.
      7. Invitations go out, but all do not accept the invitation.[prble wedding fst Mt22]
        1. Double invitation: sudden invite then, it’s ready!
        2. It is the same with the call to Christ’s wedding. [all invited, some accept]
      8. After a time (determined by the Father), the groom, best man, & other male friends left the fathers house, at night, in a torchlight procession, to the house of the bride.
        1. I will return again & receive you to myself.
      9. The Bride was expecting His coming but didn’t know exactly when...Thus the grooms arrival was preceded w/a shout.
        1. The Lord Himself will descend from heaven w/a shout.
      10. The groom received the bride & her female attendants & returned to his father’s house.
        1. I will return again & receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be also. i.e. the Rapture.
      11. The Bride & Groom entered their Bridal chamber to consummate marriage. [Jewish marriage feast lasted for 7 days]
        1. The Marriage supper of the lamb will last for 7 years in heaven, during the 7 year tribulation on the earth.
      12. Then, after the 7 years, the Bridegroom will return w/His bride(the church) from His Fathers house, to earth, at midnight, to start/enter the millennium.
        1. Note: in vs.10, in the 2 ancient versions of scripture, the Syriac version (Peshitta) & the Latin Vulgate both read, and when they went to buy, the bridegroom came with his bride.
        2. The Jews in the Tribulation will be some of the invited guests privileged to share in the feast. [Mt.8:11And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven]
    2. (1) An introductory sentence that sets the stage.
      1. These virgins took their lamps & went to receive the groom & His bride at His home.
      2. The parable focuses on the 10 girls, especially the 5 foolish one’s.
    3. (2) Wise & Foolish - not good & bad. [Like home builders: 1 choose rock foundation, & 1 sand]
      1. Foolish - seem to speak of professing believers.
        1. Why does Jesus pick 50%...could there be that many be Pretenders?
    4. (3,4) All 10 women are expecting the bridegroom, but only 5 are fully prepared.
    5. Many believe this was speaking of a Torch instead of the typical indoor lamp (wick/oil) As outdoors the wind could extinguish the flame.
      1. Torches = long pole w/oil soaked rags at top. [oil would last approx 15 min. Additional oil had to be poured on the rags to keep it burning]
        1. They would help light the way to the Grooms home.
        2. The foolish virgins gave no thought to the future, or to what was expected of them.
        3. The wise on the other hand, took every precaution to avoid being embarrassed or neglectful.
    6. (5) The charge was not to go w/o sleep, but to be prepared whether they were asleep or awake.
    7. (6) At midnight - midnight was also the time the death angel appeared over Egypt. And those that had prepared themselves were ready for the death angel coming.
      1. Samson snuck out of Gaza at midnight & took their gate with him, while the Gazites slept.
      2. At midnight Ruth startled Boaz as she lay at his tootsies.
      3. It was in the middle of the night that the 1 Harlot snatched away the other harlots live baby, then stood b4 Solomon (1 Kings 3).
      4. It was at midnight that the friend came to his neighbor for bread.
      5. God came at midnight to open Paul & Silas’ prison doors in D block.
    8. Different from our Western culture...the Groom was the center of the Wedding.
    9. (7) Everyone sparked up - The unwise virgins wicks lit also, probably because they had been saturated w/oil, but it was only a flicker for a moment, & then out it went.
    10. (8,9) Give us some of your oil - They gave a courteous reply, but a decisive one
      1. Had they shared, then they could only go themselves 1/2 way.
      2. The Groom would have been disgraced if they would have ran out of oil.
      3. Oil = H.S. cannot be transferred from human to human.
        1. Jn.1:12,13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood (by heredity or inheritance), nor of the will of the flesh (by natural instinct), nor of the will of man (by human volition), but of God (by the direct, supernatural exercise of divine power).(1) God has no grandchildren. Each must answer on his own.
        2. We can urge them to prepare, but we cannot do it for them.
      4. Our lamps are going out - What terrible words! “Those that are putting off their repentance till their dying hour are like these foolish virgins.”
      5. Jeremiah had asked, Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number. Jer.2:32
        1. Young people tell what they are doing. Old people what they have done. Fools what they wish to do.
      6. Pr 13:9 The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
      7. Is.62:1b I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
      8. Jn.5:35 He/John the Bap was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
    11. Neglecting preparations...Is like an ambassador going to a far country and forgetting his message. It’s like the invited guest who didn’t put on his wedding-garment. It’s like the fool who counseled his soul to take ease, while God’s voice called him to judgment.
      1. [funny dog pic] It’s all about Preparedness.
    1. Procrastination is the Assassination of Motivation.
    2. Top 5 Things People Put Off Until the Last Minute: House chores/yard work. Holiday gift shopping. Making doctor/dentist appointments. Calling relatives. Changing oil in the car.
      1. Some things are a little bit more important...like salvation.
    3. Poem: I spent a fortune on a trampoline, a stationary bike and a rowing machine. Complete with gadgets to read my pulse, and gadgets to prove my progress results, And others to show The miles I’ve charted - But they left off the gadget to get me started.
    4. ​​​​​​​(10) The lamps of the 5 virgins without extra oil were going out. So they had to go searching for oil and missed the arrival of the bridegroom.
      1. When they returned and found the wedding feast in progress, they sought admission but were denied.
      2. There was no Oil Shortage! They failed to avail themselves of the Spirits supply
    5. How were the others ready? They had their Oil. They had the H.S.
      1. Readiness was the issue.
      2. The point is to be Prepared before the groom comes.
    6. Door was shut - The door sealed in those were ready & sealed out those who were not ready. [just like with Noah’s ark]
    7. (11,12) Ignorance of the time of the 2nd coming is not an excuse for neglect, but a reason for readiness.
    8. What a terrible death sentence...I do not know you.
      1. ​​​​​​​1 Cor.8:3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.
    9. (13) Watch Therefore - perpetual awareness is not possible, but perpetual readiness is.
      1. No one knows when the worlds 2nd greatest interruption will take place.
      2. All people at all x’s must be prepared personally to go with Jesus at any time. Wether now, in anticipation of Jesus coming for His saints (rapture), or during the tribulation in anticipation of Jesus coming back with His saints (2nd coming)
    10. Maybe the worse procrastination is when one understands the good news of salvation through Jesus yet puts off the decision.
    11. Their issue was...they were Functioning on Fumes!
      1. ​​​​​​​I remember as a teenager in my 70 camero, being short on money, I’d run it always close to empty, a couple of dollars at a time, just to keep it off empty.
      2. I learned how to run on fumes. I learned E didn’t always mean E. I’d dream of a day where I’d have money enough to keep it filled up & just top it off.
    12. Functioning on Fumes
      1. Have you lived your life thus far...running on empty?
        1. ​​​​​​​"Running On Empty" was written while Jackson Browne was driving to the studio each day to make his record The Pretender. In Rolling Stone magazine, Browne stated "I was always driving around with no gas in the car, I just never bothered to fill up the tank because — how far was it anyway? Just a few blocks."
      2. Gambling with the letter E (in your car meant Empty. In life means Eternity)
    13. We’ve been made for more than Functioning on Fumes - or Flirting w/Fume Fellowship like the other 5.
      1. ​​​​​​​We are told to be filled with the HS. And continue to enjoy being filled daily.
      2. Be prepared ahead of time, for either the Rapture, or if you miss that, the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. Be Prepared, do not Procrastinate.
      3. Eph.5:15-20 NLT So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    14. Are you prepared?
    15. North Pole Expedition - The 19th-century explorers of the Franklin Expedition tried to reach the North Pole, Annie Dillard, in her book Teaching a Stone to Talk, describes the provisions they took for that hazardous journey: “Each sailing vessel carried an auxiliary steam engine and a 12-day supply of coal for the entire projected 2 or 3 year voyage. Instead of additional coal…each ship made room for a 1,200-volume library, a hand-organ playing 50 tunes, china place settings for officers and men, cut-glass wine goblets, and sterling silver flatware. The expedition carried no special clothing for the Arctic, only the uniforms of Her Majesty’s Navy.” (Our Daily Bread, February 6, 1998)
      1. Imagine heading into frigid wastelands with supplies like that? What utter folly!
      2. Imagine heading into eternity unprepared spiritually? What utter folly!

Verses 14-30

  1. Intro: Wise Investing
    1. Story: John Galbraith, in his autobiography, A Life in Our Times, illustrates the devotion of Emily Wilson, his family’s housekeeper:
      It had been a wearying day, and I asked Emily to hold all calls while I had a nap. Shortly thereafter the phone rang. Lyndon Johnson was calling from the White House. “Get me Ken Galbraith. This is Lyndon Johnson.” - “He is sleeping, Mr. President. He said not to disturb him.” - “Well, wake him up. I want to talk to him.”“No, Mr. President. I work for him, not you.”When I called the President back, he could scarcely control his pleasure. “Tell that woman I want her here in the White House.” [Reader’s Digest, December, 1981]
      1. Do you remind yourself often who you ultimately work for? (God)
      2. Do you take His instructions as suggestions or commands?
    2. This parable deals with service in the world while Jesus is away.
      1. Talents are different from abilities, for in v.15 he gave to every man according to his own ability.
      2. The talents represent opportunities to use our abilities to serve Christ.
      3. We are born with various abilities, but Christ gives us opportunities to exercise our abilities. The important thing is to be faithful.
    3. Our time is not to be spent dreaming of that future day. It is to be spent in the service of our absent Lord, who has entrusted His possessions to us.
      1. Being ready for His coming means being involved as servants in the ongoing ministries committed to us by our Lord.
    4. Another parable is similar in Lk.19:11-27 Parable of the Minas, yet it is different timing
      1. was used for a different purpose.
    5. Last week we saw the 5 Virgins represented as waiting for their Lord; we have here the servants working for Him.
    6. Key is Faithfulness. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 1Cor.4:2
      1. Faithful - implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted. [Faithful = full of faith, trustful, and not simply trustworthy]
    1. (14) The Lord compared Himself to a Bridegroom. Now as a traveling man to a far country
      1. Traveling - suggests that he is gone for a season, & that he will return when his purpose is accomplished.2. Note: The servants were His & the goods were His.
        1. His servants could not claim their persons, nor their possessions as their own.
        2. All belonged to the Lord, & were to be used for Him.
          1. Like you today, they were not the owners of the money but the managers while the Owner was/is away.
        3. Like a steward on a ship, or stewardess on an airplane. They don’t own the plane or anything on the plane, yet have a great responsibility of the things given into their care as they serve.
    2. (15) according to his own ability - not, IF you win the lottery! (I’ll give so much to the poor) No, what He’s given you today!
      1. Christ gives us opportunities that match our abilities.
      2. He was/is the judge of the ability of each of his servants.
      3. Rest assured…He will bestow upon us as many talents as we can rightly use, & quite as many as we shall be able to account for when He returns.
        1. It is obviously not the number of our talents, but the use we make of them, that is the matter.
    3. A Talent was a currency unit representing a lot of money.
      1. The Talents represent opportunities to use our abilities.
        1. If 5 were given to a person w/minimal ability - he would be destroyed by the heavy responsibility.
        2. If 1 were given to a person of great ability - he would be prone to sloth.
          1. In the army all are not generals, so in the church all were not furnished to be leaders.
          2. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
    4. Application: Let’s see these Talents as anything & everything that our Lord has given to us, for use here, as His stewards.
      1. What Gifts & Talents (natural & spiritual) has He entrusted you with?
        1. Money, time, opportunities, musical gifts, vocal gifts, teaching, working w/kids/ elderly/youth, drawing, photography, computer, electronics, counseling, baking, letter writing, giving, drivers/camp, hospitality, cooking skills, your education, your profession...none of us are empty handed.
      2. J.C.Ryle, Anything whereby we may glorify God is a talent. Our gifts, our influence, our money, our knowledge, our health, our strength, our time, our senses, our reason, our intellect, our memory, our affections, our privileges as members of Christ’s church, our advantages as possessors of the Bible - all, all are talents.
      3. Our Gifts & Talents are like a vessel, which may be large or small, but in each case is filled.
    5. And, a 1 Talent servant is just as important as a 5 Talent servant.
      1. The woods would be silent, if only the birds sang, that sing the best.
      2. We may easily be too big for God to use, but never too small. D.L.Moody
    6. (18) We are living in between vs.18 & 19.
    7. (19) After a long time - like 24:48 & 25:5.
      1. Slide19 There is a reckoning day coming. Like famous Amos said in Amos 4:12 Prepare to meet your God.
  3. ​​​​​​​P&L STATEMENT REVIEW (20-30) profit & loss
    1. ​​​​​​​​​​2 WISE INVESTORS (20-23)
    2. The 3 servants fell into 2 categories: Faithful & Unfaithful.
    3. The 2 Faithful…put their talents to work.
      1. Note: Though their Talents were different, they both got the exact same commendation. (vs.21 & 23)
    4. They both doubled their Talents. Have we doubled the grace given us? Do we have twice the tact? Have we duplicated our service unto Him?
    6. ​​​​​​​His 4-fold response:
      1. Pat on the back - well done
      2. Praise - good & faithful
      3. Promotion - made ruler, placed in charged of many things. They started as servants & were promoted to rulers.
      4. Pronouncement - enter into the Joy (enter into the kingdom), to sit at the masters table.
        1. Leighton, It is but little we can receive here, some drops of joy that enter into us; but there we shall enter into joy, as vessels put into a sea of happiness.
    7. Remember, faithful stewardship pleases the Master more than the actual return on His investments.
    8. 1 UNWISE INVESTOR (24,25) Don’t Bury It. Hide it under a bushel, no!
    9. Scene Change: We now have the Unfaithful man who buried his talents.
      1. He didn’t purposely do evil, but by doing nothing he was committing sin, & robbing his Lord of service & increase.
    10. Instead of 1st returning the money, he gave a little speech.
    11. The phrase, you have what is yours, was used in Jewish transactions to say, I am not responsible for this any further.
      1. ​​​​​​​He seems to wait for some commendation for at least keeping it safe. “I didn’t lose it!”…“Here I kept it safe!” [he tries to justify his inaction]
      2. He seemed he’d rather bring nothing at all, then bring something so small.
        1. Note: the one who said, “Oh, I can only do a little for the Lord” was the one who got the serious rebuke!
    12. Remember, the 5 Foolish Virgins erred through a vain over-confidence. This Servant through an under-confidence that was equally vain & sinful.
      1. Thus we see 2 opposing rocks on which faith is in danger of making shipwreck.
      2. The 5 Virgins thought it too easy to serve the Lord. This Servant thought it too hard.
    13. where you have not sown - Thomas Aquinas, “God requireth from man nothing but the good which himself hath sowed in us.”
      1. ​​​​​​​This man’s words were self-contradictory & his excuse was self-condemnatory
      2. Hard? He gave him the Talents to begin with.
      3. Afraid? He blessed the 2 other guys.
        1. Fear is the mother of presumption.
      4. He was a man afraid he might fail, so never tried to succeed.
    14. He understood what the master wanted, a return on the investment, but he chose a different course of action.
      1. Do you risk? Do you try to play life safe? Jesus says, that’s a terrible way to live. It’s criminal to live life like that.
      2. Fear causes people to play it safe.
      3. We also must ask ourselves...have we ever caused someone else to bury their talents? Have we within the culture of the church caused women to bury their talents. We may cause someone to bury their talent when we criticize someone’s idea. It just took 1 sharp word of discouragement to cause someone I know to never pick up a guitar again. [be careful little mouths what you speak]
    16. (26) He condemns him out of his own mouth.
    17. Slide23a (27) (Application) If you don’t do it yourself, at least contribute to what others are doing (mission work) & join your capital with theirs.
    18. Slide23b (28) If you don’t use it you will lose it.
    19. (29) There is no worse crime than the crime of a wasted life, or a life wasted.
      1. ​​​​​​​Faithfulness results in blessing and reward. The inverse of this statement also is true.
    20. (30) His 4-fold response:
      1. No Pat (on the back) here.
      2. Praise? could not be uttered, it was wicked & lazy.
      3. Promotion? no a de-motion.
      4. Pronouncement? not enter in, instead get out.
    21. (30) Weeping & gnashing of teeth - Reflects the unspeakable anguish of being separated from God, which is far greater than any other punishment.
    22. We are to be actively awaiting His Return.
    23. This parable, like the one immediate before it, has to do w/both real & nominal Christians. Both those who are & profess to be the servants of Christ.
    24. We see in God’s kingdom there simply is no room for drones, only for working bees.
      1. Every part does it share (Eph.4:16). Exercise your gifts. Stir up your gifts. Fan them into flame. Serve your Master. Invest your gifts.
    25. Great principle of Christian living: Faithfulness in ordinary life brings about infinitely great results by the grace of God.

Verses 31-46

  1. Intro: sheep & goat judgment
    1. Jesus has been talking about, How to wait for the end. How to wait for His return.
    2. Timing: The Millennium is sandwiched between 2 bookends of Judgment.
      1. This judgment of the Gentile Nations are at the beginning of the Mill.
      2. The White Throne Judgment is after the Mill.
        1. Prov.10:30 The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not inhabit the earth
    3. ​​​​​​​Nearly all flocks in the East consist of sheep and goats, for both are needed. White sheep supply the wool for clothing and goats supply the hair for tents, bags and ropes. Both first family with milk which is made into butter and cheese, the chief food.
  2. MERCY MINISTRY (31-46)
    1. ​​​​​​​So we have The Separator (31) The Savior himself will occupy this role. The Separation (32,33) The goats (lost people) will be placed on his left hand. And the sheep (saved people) on his right hand. And The Separated (34-46).
      1. The Sheep will be rewarded.
        1. The contents (34) They will receive the Kingdom, prepared for them from the foundation of the world. The cause (35,36) It is due to their mercy ministry in feeding, clothing, caring for, and even assisting Jesus in prison. The confusion (37-39) The saved asked, when all this took place? The clarification (40) Jesus says it’s when they ministered to others, they ministered to him.
      2. The Goats will be punished.
        1. The contents (41) eternal hell. The cause (42,43) they did not minister to Jesus. The confusion (44) the unsaved ask when it was that they did not minister to Jesus.The clarification (45,46) Jesus says, because they did not minister to others, they did not minister to him. (The Outline Bible Outline, Mt.25:31-46)
    2. The nations - or the Gentiles.
      1. People, other than Jews, who have lived through the Tribulation period.
      2. They will be judged individually, not as national groups.
      3. They are described as a mingling of sheep/goats, which the Lord will separate.
        1. The basis of their entrance is seen in their actions, for they provided food, drink, clothing, and care for the King.
      4. There will not be sheep nations and goat nations, but sheep separated from the goats in every nation.
      5. The sheep will have life eternal; the goats will go away into eternal punishment
    3. Note: both the sheep and goats were surprised by Jesus’s words.
      1. They were not surprised at the place assigned them, but at the reason Jesus gives. Both didn’t realize that when they did these things (or didn’t), that they were doing (or not doing) them onto Jesus.
      2. Jesus identifies with His people. Saul, Saul, why do you persecute ME?
    4. ​​​​​​​The expression My brethren must refer to a 3rd group that is neither sheep nor goats.
      1. Most commentators say this must be the Jews in distress during the Tribulation period. It is clear that any believing Jew will have a difficult time surviving during this time period.
      2. The forces of the world dictator will be doing everything possible to exterminate all Jews.
      3. A Gentile going out of his way to assist a Jew in the Tribulation will mean that Gentile has become a believer in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation. By such a stand and action, a believing Gentile will put his life in jeopardy. His works will not save him; but his works will reveal that he is redeemed.
      4. So, they will be enemies of the Antichrist. They would suffer great persecution. They would not be able to buy or sell, and thus would be hungry. They would flee from their homes (Mt.24:15-21) and would need places to stay. Without jobs and without the mark of the beast, they could not secure clothing and would be naked. Many would be cast into prison.
        1. Jesus has already defined bro’s & sis’s in the Lord in Mt.12:49,50 Jesus stretched out His hand toward His disciples & said, Here are My mother & My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother / sister/ mother
        2. Jesus’ 1/2 bro James said, If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 2:15-17
      5. So are we only to show Mercy to Believers? No way.
        1. Lk.6:27-36 But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you. Slide16 32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. 35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
          1. ​​​​​​​So, yes help out brothers & sisters in the family...but if you only help out family, you are no better than an unbeliever.
      6. So Jesus is all about Mercy Ministry...T o th e believer (our spiritual family) and T o th e unbeliever (our human family).
    5. He invites the sheep into His kingdom because of their ministry to Him on earth.
      1. They had fed Him. Quenched His thirst. Gave Him a room when He was homeless. Nursed him back to health when He was sick. Went and visited him while he was in a correctional facility.
      2. MSG, whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to me.
        1. ​​​​​​​Author, Jo Saxton said, Our theology impacts our anthropology and our anthropology mandates our sociology. Or, Our theology/understanding of God impacts our anthropology/understanding of man and our anthropology mandates our sociology/understanding of society. [that aggregate of people living in a community]
    6. (35,36) For I was hungry (& T,S,N,S,P) - The actions described reflect obedience to the command to love one’s neighbor - and thereby demonstrate love for God, as well.
    7. (40) one of the least of these - Jesus’ remarks here call for Christian care to reach all the way to the bottom of the social structure, thus inverting earthly values.
      1. Often times when we see someone who is hungry, clothes are tattered, or are in need of shelter, and we tend to label them instead of loving them. We criticize them instead of caring for them. We resent & run from them instead of reacting & responding to them.
    8. The world is sick and tired of hearing of the love of Jesus, they want to see it. Craig Groeschel
    9. Christian kindness is to know no limits of race or class, it is to flow unceasingly & naturally, from a heart in complete harmony w/the will of God.
    10. What’s our point? What’s our take away? What are we supposed to know, feel, do?
    11. Let me show an example. Starling Murmuration.
      1. What it is: it’s a collective motion of a large number of birds, in this case starlings.
      2. How it works: there is not 1 leader. It’s a collective movement. Each bird modifies its direction relative to the 6 or 7 directly surrounding it. It’s a beautiful demonstration of unity.
        1. A humans reaction time is usually between 150-250 milliseconds. [commercial. hair/arm]
        2. A starlings reaction time is around 30 msec. If startled...down to 15msec!
      3. How it should be a picture of the church?
    12. My dream...is a Murrieta Murmuration!
      1. I see our church moving in murmuration, so connected with those around us that when we see someone next to us moving in the direction of displaying love, we’ll move right with them. When they see us move towards compassion, they’ll move with us.
      2. This also answers why we do church. Church can’t be about getting a great sermon or great worship...if so...we’d all stay home & go online & choose our fav preacher & download his/her sermons & listen to them all day. We’d then listen to the best music put out by the most talented christian artists for our listening pleasure. See, these brick & mortar buildings are about doing ministry as a family. It’s living out the one another scriptures.
    13. My dream...is a Murrieta Murmuration - where we as a church body...see, feel, watch, & vibe with the rhythm & movement of the body of Christ represented here.
      1. Where even when the call comes to help others to go to camp, you give generously [7 3rd-5th grade retreat. 13 Mid Sch. 9 HS. 8 Ladies formerly trafficked from Gen Hope to women’s retreat. $2800 total, for single ladies & others ladies, paying 1/2 or whole]
    14. My dream...is a Murrieta Murmuration.
      1. Where our church hears of wars & runs towards them to heal the wounded or feed the famished. Like Larry in Iraq w/Partners & FBR helping those fleeing ISIS. Bringing with him over $24,000 because of your generosity.
      2. Where our church hears of the hungry & thirsty & runs towards them to dig wells like water4abillion & to feed the starving like MP, HEF & 5 Loaves.
      3. Where our church hears of the stranger/ the foreigner/ the refugee & runs towards them to make them feel welcome. Like Andrew Lacasse who befriended a Burmese pastor in SD who is doing an outreach on Easter & needed hygiene supplies for local refugees...that he helped. Like those in our church helping & befriending a local refugee family.
      4. Where our church finds our Muslim neighbors who have been vilified by so many in our country & befriends them and build bridges instead of walls. Like Dave & Michelle Madden & their friends who have been doing this for a few years now.
      5. Where our church finds those with tattered clothes & runs to cloth them. Like you partnering w/HEF who will be handing out suits for our Haitian pastors.
      6. Where our church hears of those incarcerated & weekly goes to SW Detention Center to build up, teach, & befriend. Like Tony Murillo & his team has for 20+ years.
      7. Where our church hears of those sick & runs to visit them, listen to them, pray for them, lay hands on them. Like so many of you just being the body of Christ.
        1. But really...don’t make this a check list. Jesus didn’t mean just these 6 categories. It’s being sensitive to anyone & everyone around you to help in meeting their needs. A listening ear. Giving from your wealth. A sweet prayer for them. A sensitivity to express. A heart of compassion. a soul filled with empathy.
    15. My dream...is a Murrieta Murmuration.
      1. WHY? Because our story tells us...it’s Jesus who is digging in the trash for food. It’s Jesus who is drinking unclean water. It’s Jesus who is the stranger / the foreigner/ the refugee. It’s Jesus who has just 1 pair of pants. It’s Jesus who is standing on the street corner with the offensive odor holding a cardboard sign. It’s Jesus who you’re sitting there listening to in the S/W jail.
      2. Jesus is communicating to us this morning church...This is what it is To Know ME. To Love Me. To Worship Me.
      3. The only difference here is what they did...or didn’t do...to ME!
      4. This is how we wait for the end. This is how to wait for His return.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Matthew 25". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/matthew-25.html. 2017.
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