Touching Jesus (Cornerstone)
Mar 19, 2017 - Rev. Larry James
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- Read this story again. What surprises you?
- Have you had an experience with someone like Jesus describes – with the one who is hungry or thirsty? Sick or in prison? How did you encounter Jesus during this experience?
- How does it shape your view of God and your understanding of the Gospel to know that Jesus radically identifies with and sacrificially cares for those on the margins?
- What does this text mean for your life? Are there places you might need to re-orient your priorities?
When it all comes to an end, Jesus says there's one thing that counts. One thing.
Do you know what that one thing is?
This weekend in Cornerstone, Rev. Larry James, CitySquare CEO and HPUMC clergy, continued our series Just Love with a conversation about the way Jesus radically identifies with and calls us to care for the poor.
The mark of a Christian is our love: love of God and love of neighbor. But our love must be just. Our love should drive us across lines of difference – to befriend the orphan and the widow, the immigrant and the prisoner - those on the margins of society. How and why do we do this?
During the interview, Larry unpacks Matthew 25:31-46, a story many preachers shy away from. It can be uncomfortable to hear such strong words from Jesus:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory…he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
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. 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, 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.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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.’
“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. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 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.’
“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?’
“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.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Can you see the one thing?
Check out the whole interview to hear what Jesus meant – and to avoid being a goat.
P.S. Prefer listening to a sermon than an interview? Larry preached in the Sanctuary, and you can tune in here.