Friday, February 26, 2016

Daily Devotional: February 26

Week 5, Day 5, The Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 25

In today's reading, Jesus is again warning His followers about the trials and problems that they will encounter in their lives, and then He transitions to talking about the last days of humanity. One of the ways this parable has been traditionally interpreted is that the sheep are Christians and the goats are non-Christians--condemned to Hell. However, I think that interpretation falls a bit short in a few ways.

There is no mention of belief or faith on the part of the sheep, it is merely their actions that saves them, and throughout the Gospels we see the idea that actions are not the mode through which God saves us. If this were the case, our salvation would entirely be dependent on how we treat the poor. While I want us to treat the poor with dignity and respect, I don't think my treatment of them is getting me to heaven.

Are you aware of where Jesus is

The point Jesus is making to His followers is they will find Him if they look for Him where He is. Just like in His life, Jesus is present among the poor and oppressed--among the fringes of society. If we want to experience Him, we have to look for Him where He is. The first step in growing in righteousness is to find Jesus and be where He is. 

When we find Him, and do the things He is doing, we will be given more and more responsibility. That is the point of the other parables in this chapter. If you aren't responsible with what you've been given, you won't be given more. However, if you cultivate holiness by practicing God's presence and going to the places Jesus would go, you will be given more and more. 

Are you aware of where Jesus is

How often do you find yourself where Jesus would be? Would He be at your favorite places? This point hits me hard because of how often I find myself in coffee shops and caf├ęs and how seldom I find myself in homeless shelters and with the less fortunate. If I want to build my understanding of Jesus, I have to be where He is. 

The more you look for Jesus, the more you'll find Him. Jesus is constantly affirming the divinity of the mundane. Every moment, every breath is a chance to experience God. The eternal punishment is missing this fact. Living a life devoid of the joy that comes with living with Jesus now. 

Be aware of Jesus. Where is He? What is He doing? How can you be a part of it?

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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.