Who are the least among us? We look to our children, our elderly, the animals who can not speak for themselves, or fend off dangers that may come they’re way. At what point do we stop and think, one day I will be elderly, will any one care for me?
Story from Feb 15, 2014 Adult Bible Study
Serving the least
As I sat across from Norman in the nursing home, he asked me what my was–for the third time. I had already told him my first name and which church I pastored. So this time I added my last name to the previous information; this time, the old World War II veteran’s eyes brightened.
“So you’re James Wallace’s son? he asked.No sir, not his son, but his grandson, ” I replied. “oh , do you come from a wonderful family!” he exclaimed. Then calling me by my father’s name, Norman said he wanted to tell me a story about my “daddy.” (He still wasn’t getting my name or relation right.)
“I hadn’t been home from the War long when my wife had an appendicitis attack. It was a long way off to the hospital– about 30 miles–and I didn’t have any way to her there. your daddy was the only one around with a car.I sent word, and in a few minutes he was at our house with the car running. He helped me get my wife into the car– she was in terrible pain–and drove us straight to the hospital.
“As I was walking her to the emergency room, I glanced back to see your daddy standing at the admissions counter, pulling out his billfold.” Now tears formed in Norman’s eyes–and mine too.”I didn’t have the money but that man paid the admissions fee for my wife! And he drove me to the hospital for days afterward to see her!”
Norman couldn’t remember a lot–like my name or where I branched on the family tree. But in all these years he has never forgotten the service my grandfather rendered to him in his hour of need.
- Why do we sometimes not recognize those in need of help?
- How have you experienced a reward after making a sacrifice for someone else?
- What have you done to meet people’s needs?
The Righteous Saw and Served the Needy
Matthew 25:31-40 KJV
31. When the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goat on the left.
34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me.
On the day that Jesus Christ returns, There will be questions he will ask. Will you have the answer for the “Son of Man”. The event may take place just before the Messiah- King ascends the “throne” of David to reign on earth. Soon after the King is enthroned as the righteous Judge, the people of “all the nations” of the world are assembled to stand in judgment before him. This is often called the “judgment of the nations.” However, it is the individual residents of each nation that are facing judgment here, not each nation as a whole (vs, 32).
The righteous Judge places the “sheep” (signifying the righteous) ” on his right,” a place of honor and blessing. But the “goats” (representing the unrighteous), are sent to the “left” side, here symbolically designated as a place of condemnation.
4. What does Christ’s designation as the “Son of Man” suggest to you?
5. How would you explain the King’s reason for separating “the sheep and the goats”?
6. For what overarching reason will the sheep receive such a great inheritance?
7. When the puzzled sheep ask when it was that they performed these caring acts for the Lord personally, what will be the King’s reply?
8. Who do you think are “these brothers of mine” (40)?
The Unrighteous Did Not See and Help the Needy
Matthew 25:41-46, KJV
41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45. Then shall he answer them, saying Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me .
46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
As you show love and compassion to your brethren Jesus will show the same for you, by give everlasting life. However, if you show distain for your brethren your destination is hell.
9. What judgement will the King pronounce upon the unrighteous, “the Goats”?
10. According to the King, Why will the goats be the recipients of such a harsh punishment?
11. Why do you think the goats did not minister to people in need?
12. What final solemn statement will the Lord make about the “eternal” destiny of both the unrighteous and the righteous?
The end of part 1.
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