Matthew 27 Final–It is Finished

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It was a scene to behold. Only a week before, crowds lined the streets throwing down their jackets and palm fronds hailing the triumphal entry of the Messiah. Now on this day, crowds again lined the streets to watch the travesty of the same man being ingloriously executed.  There were no cheers. There was some sadness, but mostly simple disbelief. How could last week’s conquering Hero be marching to His death?  It was the price God was willing to pay for those He loved.  Make no mistake, Jesus felt every blow, every lash of the whip. He heard every rude and demeaning comment; but, He was now completing the mission for which He left Heaven.

On the cross, Jesus accepted the shame of abuse delivered by those that hated Him. Three things, however, needed wrapping up. He agonized as man’s sin rested on His shoulders. It caused him to be separated from the Father, for the 1st and only time in all eternity. He grieved for those that were killing Him-He interceded to God for their forgiveness. He cared about his Mom, and made sure She was safe; and then, He announced the end–“It is finished!” Jesus died. From there, He was taken down and buried. What had been an amazing life, ended in an earthquake, the temple curtain splitting and the Jesus movement, stopped cold–or so the world thought.

We know different. We know that the crucifixion of Jesus was a somber prelude to the most glorious symphony that was ever to be written. In the coming days, the world would be turned upside down. The utter defeat of man–through sin was about to be erased and the tablets cleared.  We, as a race, were about to receive the final piece of the promise a heartbroken God delivered to Adam as He led he and his wife from the Garden of Eden. We all recognize the complete anguish and grief the cross caused that Friday–BUT, the victory that rang from the words “It is Finished” were only starting to reverberate through the bowels of the earth. Soon, they would peal across the sky and into all of history; announcing the beginning of restoration between God and men. Soon, God himself would exalt Jesus to the highest place and give Him the name that is above every name.(Phil 2:9). As the famous preacher Tony Campolo so eloquently put it–“It was Friday, But, Sunday was coming!!!”

God Bless You

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[d]

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[f] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Matthew 27 Part 2–The Train Has Left the Station

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Things were in full-action mode now.  The train had left the station.  Pilate, the Governor from Rome, had this Jesus before him, and really did not know why. Clearly,Jesus had rubbed the Jewish leadership the wrong way, but, that really had nothing to do with Pilate or with Rome. So, there Pilate sat and had to make a decision to execute a popular Jew for a non-existent crime.  Even Pilate’s wife said, do not do anything to this guy…But, Pilate thought it would be clever to let the crowds pick Jesus–it was Passover, and hey this is the dude they were celebrating last Sunday, no-brainer, right? So, the crowd picked a terrorist named Barabbas, instead. Then Pilate asked what to do with their “Messiah”, the crowd screamed crucify Him; talk about a political backfire. 

So, Pilate did what he could do–he turned Jesus over to be tortured and killed.  there is not much more is said in history about Pilate. Few would have known, that Pilate would be instrumental in changing the world.  His decision set into place our redemption. It is a crushing thing to see the level of injustice and political intrigue caused by Jesus presence. He was on Earth to show people what God was like, and that God loved them. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons and fed the hungry. He always spoke the truth, in love, to everyone that would hear it.  He never raised a sword against friend or foe.

Still, We must remember, this was the plan.  Jesus was to be the sacrifice of atonement for all mankind.  He was walking willingly along this path and never regretted a minute of it.  That is the picture of Romans 5:8–“God demonstrated His love for us; in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Pilate was a part of God’s plan. God used the political intrigue and short-sightedness of men to accomplish His plan to restore us.  Thank You, Lord, for accepting such treatment simply to accomplish Your plan for our lives.

God Bless You

 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus[b] Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.

19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the cr .owd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.

“Barabbas,” they answered.

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

Matthew 27-Part 1-I Have betrayed Innocent Blood

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What a horrible thought to be the one that Betrayed the Messiah.  As Judas looked at the bag of coins he had received for betraying Jesus, He quickly realized that there was no going back.  He tried to return the money, but, the religious elite did not care. He could not justify what he had done, because he knew better than most, that Jesus did nothing wrong. Faced with the total lack of hope and solace, Judas killed himself. Still, at that point, no one else cared. It was a sad testimony to his life and also to the act.

The religious elite fulfilled prophecy, however, they used the money to buy a field to bury the poor. A potters field.  That was prophesied in Zachariah.

Probably, the saddest part of the story is our greatest hope.  Jesus would have forgiven Judas’ betrayal. When Jesus died for our sin, He also died for Judas’s sin of betrayal. Judas, never actually understood whom he was following. His betrayal showed his lack of faith–but, Jesus still would have accepted him.  As Paul later taught in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Judas was a sinner, sadly though, he walked away from God’s grace and Christ’s forgiveness. There simply is no sin that Christ is not willing to forgive, all we have to do is ask!

God Bless You

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”[a]

Matthew 26 Final–Here, Let Me Help You Out!

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As Jesus sat before his accusers, He knew they would be unable to put together the proof they needed to convict Him and have Him crucified.  Almost like an episode of the “Keystone Cops”,  these men paraded false witness after false witness simply to substantiate the allegations–all failed. Jesus sat quietly, He knew that they would never be able to prove a charge by His words, because He only spoke the truth; and the truth was not blasphemy.

Still, there was the mission. Jesus was to be the sacrificial lamb–so when the chief priest asked Him ,”Are you the Messiah?” He decided to help them out.  “You Have Said it!” Jesus replied. Jesus had to make their case for them.  When He did, Jesus knew what would follow. Amazingly, Jesus was OK with it. So, as the Keystone cops reveled in their victory and abused the Son of God, he quietly paid the price and made the sacrifice for those He loved.

Jesus cares for us with the same measure that He cared for His disciples and the world.  He was willingly ready to give up His Life, His deity and His connection to the Father–so that our relationship could be restored.  So, we as His chosen, must be ready to move forward and trust Him.  Paul laid out the plan–“Set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above; not on earthly things.” We have to set our mind on eternal things and live lives that honor God and Christ who gave up everything so that we could have a relationship with Him. 

God Bless You

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest.He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.

Finally two came forward 61 and b, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”

62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.

The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God:Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[e]

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”

“He is worthy of death,” they answered.

67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”

Matthew 26 Part 4–The “Arrest”

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Make no mistake, Jesus truly gave His life willingly. Over the course of the next 24 hours, Jesus easily could have ended the arrest, prosecution and execution. He could simply have called down a few thousand angels to wipe the men out. He could have spoken and all before him would have been driven to their knees. Jesus was God, but in those moments, He voluntarily gave up His power and authority–to provide for us salvation and a restored relationship with God.  It could not have been easy, His disdain for the religious elite was apparent and giving them the victory (or so it seemed), had to be difficult to do.  But Jesus did willingly accept the events that were happening; simply because He loved us.

When we wonder if God is real, when we wonder if He truly makes a difference; we must go back to the very sacrifice He made for us.  He willingly stepped forward and was arrested that day.  If we doubt His power, let’s remember John’s account, (Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to Him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am He,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.) They did none of the things to Jesus without His willingness. He showed the leaders and the guards His majesty, even in his arrest and persecution.  

When we follow the Lord, we follow a great and mighty Savior. His sacrifice was not a surprise, nor was it beyond His control–Jesus simply wanted us to know how much He truly loves us and is willing to do to have a personal relationship with us.  Thanks Lord, for your gift and your sacrifice.

God Bless You

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”[d]

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Matthew 26 Part 3–Sweet Hour of Prayer

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Jesus was about to be arrested and crucified.  He knew it, he had planned for it, and He prepared His men for it.  Still, as the hour approached, the sense of dread and reality of what was ahead bore down on Jesus like a vise. He took his men to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with him.  He had to go to His father, one more time.  As Jesus grieved and prayed, He longed for the support of those men He had raised and befriended. 

Sadly, each of the three times Jesus returned to the guys, they were fast asleep. They neither sensed the pain the Lord was going through, nor did they feel the sense of urgency that Jesus felt. They had a full belly and that was the most important thing to them. Had they known that in only moments their world would be forever turned upside down, then they probably would have been in an intense prayer of support for the Master. Still, Jesus knew that his guys were going to be shaken to the core, and He was about to suffer and die–so on he prayed. “Not my will, but Your will be done!”

Like Jesus, we need to remain on our face before God. We live in a time where the church is feeling the increased pain of a world that has abandoned God. The devaluation of Life, marriage and family has reaped unprecedented violence, arrogance and selfishness in all corners of the globe. It is only a matter of time, until worship of our Lord will be considered illegal, and the church an enemy.  Then, like the disciples, we will be shaken to our very core and driven to our knees to worship the Lord. We will then seek his protection, provision and preparation for what lies ahead. We need to sense the urgency that is upon us, and like Jesus, pray this very hour for God’s intervention and our nation’s revival.  Don’t let our full tummy and sense of invincibility, fool us into thinking that we will never lose what we have. Things can always change in a minute, and we must be ready for that eventuality!!! Wake up and pray.

God Bless You

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Matthew 26 Part 2–The Last Supper

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Time was running short.  Jesus, of course, knew the events that lay ahead–but His disciples did not have a clue. Judas had already made a deal with the Jewish elite to betray Jesus. So, as they began the Passover feast, Jesus began preparing His men for the betrayal, and preparing them for what was about to change. It was probably clear that Jesus was hated by the religious leaders. No one would have thought, however, that they would intentionally try to end the life of God’s Messiah.  

Jesus knew, however. He watched these men; picked to lead the Church after his death and resurrection,and while He knew they would be OK, He also knew what was to come would be difficult for them and horrendous for Him.  Still, He soldiered on and blessed them that night. He called Judas out, He prepped Peter for his denial of Jesus, and Jesus let the rest know that, after He was gone, they needed to remember the communion they shared with Him.

In our lives, we attend our various congregations, and every so often, usually the 1st Sunday of the month, we take communion in remembrance of that last supper. His body broken for us, His blood shed for us. He was separated from God, albeit only briefly, for the 1st and only time throughout eternity.  He was tortured, killed and discredited–all for us.  So, as we pause, ever so quickly to take communion–we need to examine our lives and ask the question, was Jesus sacrifice for me, enough.  The answer is technically yes, but, it must be a yes for each of us, personally.  

He gave all He could give to restore what had been taken by man’s sin. We are called to accept our Lord’s gift, follow His lead and allow Jesus to transform us into His image; from the day we receive Him until His return.

God Bless You

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b]covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 26 Part 1–Jesus Anointed

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You can never underestimate the things God does through His people.  The religious elite had plotted to kill Jesus and the day was fast approaching.  Jesus was at a party in the home of one He had healed, Simon the “Leper”; when out of the blue a lady anoints Him with expensive perfume.  Everyone was surprised and a bit taken aback–if not annoyed. The perfume was valuable and could have been used for a number of things.  Also’ it totally took the focus off of the party.

Jesus, knowing what the people were thinking, took a moment and cleared the air.  Look, He said, leave her be.  What she has done was beautiful, she has anointed Me for burial.  You may think it an annoyance, but, history will remember it as a great gift from God. It is a story that has been forever entwined with the last days of Jesus ministry on Earth.  No one could have known the significance that was about to be realized.

In our lives, we follow God–and if we are sensitive to His lead, we act in ways that honor Him.  In that process, we weave in and out of the lives of folks whom we touch and who touch our lives. Some say a kind word, give a small gift or help with a need, never once considering the implications of their help.  Only later, when we stand before God, will the significance of those gestures be realized.  That is why it is critical to be faithful, kind and selfless.  You will never know the lives your behavior will affect.

My family has had a host of angels touch our lives in so many ways, that I have lost count.  Kind deeds, financial assistance, faithful prayer and loyal friendship have shaped our lives into a place of complete faith and dependence on God. I would have given up long ago, except for the way God has used folks to keep me moving forward.  For all of you that have “anointed” my family, I thank you, and will never be able to express the deep gratitude I feel. please allow this word to stand as a tribute to your love and sacrifice to Him and for me.  I am truly grateful, and praise Him for all the anointers that walk among us each day!!!

God Bless You

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Matthew 25 Final–The Least of These

In my life, there is no parable that has gripped my heart–like this parable. In short, God separates people into two groups, (Sheep and Goats).  The sheep are the people that God has prepared for his kingdom and the goats are the folks that He has no place for.  It is a sobering thought, but God does not allow everyone into His kingdom.  What is more sobering, is the determining factors for entrance.  First, it truly is a matter of the heart.  The sheep were the folks that acted like God acted–they fed the hungry, satisfied the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the needy, cared for the sick and even visited the prisoners. Their’s was an active faith based upon a selfless desire to be like the Father. 

Conversely, the goats did none of that.  They may have been to church every week, they may have not committed any “bad sins”…They may have known all the right phrases–but, in the end, their faith did not show up as they dealt with the people in the world.  Jesus was clear, as His own, we are to be reaching out to those in need. The needs vary, as do our gifts–but at days end, we are to be the ones who show God’s love to those in the world that need it. It is truly what sets us apart.  The phrase that should be our motto–“As you have done to the least of these–you have done to God!

God cares most for the least of these. God gives most to the least of these.  The least of these are the ones that He has a special VIP section for.  As such, we need to treat the least of these like the best of us.  Our church attendance, our religious talk, our conservative lives are important, however, what God sees as critical,  is that we live selfless lives–that touch the least of these–God’s VIP’s.

God Bless You!

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.”

Matthew 25 Part 2–Parable of the Talents

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God calls His people to be ready and to use the gifts entrusted to them.  The type and number of gifts vary, but, God’s expectation is that no matter the gift, each be used effectively.  In the parable of the bags of gold, each servant’s gift were different; one was given 5 bags of gold, one was given 2 bags and one was given 1 bag.  The first two servants took the gifts they were given and put them to use; doubling their value.  The third servant simply hid his gift–returning it unused.

In the parable, the master rewarded the two servants that used their gifts, accordingly. He was equally pleased with the first two servants, not because of the amount of gifts they started with, but, because they took what they had and made the most of it.  The master was exceedingly angry with the third servant–not because he expected a great return, but because the servant failed to even try to use what he had been given–as such, that gift was taken away.  It was an issue of trust, of desire and of the attitude the servant had about his master.

In our lives, God makes us unique. Each is given a different set of gifts and talents. Some are multi-talented superstars; while others are simply great at one thing. In God’s eyes both are equally valuable.  Where the distinction comes, in God’s eyes, is in what we do with what he has given us.  His desire is that we use what ever talent we are given to further the kingdom. It does not have to be a showy gift like preaching, leadership or teaching, it may simply be the gift of prayer, service or giving. In His eyes, it is simply that we use the gift to further His kingdom.  Failure to do so, will be a great disappointment to God and a waste of a great life.

God calls us all to minister.  What that ministry is, varies–all are needed. The only wrong answer is to take the gifts that you have been given–and simply set them to the side because of fear or the failure to see one’s gift as valuable.  D. L. Moody was a shoe salesman that simply had a heart for the poor kids in his Chicago neighborhood.  He loved them and taught them about God and his word.  His ministry to those poor kids turned into an international ministry and college.  He was not given a huge number of gifts and talents; but, he used what he was given to change the world. Go and do the same!

God Bless You

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’