Summary: The teaching of Jesus calls us to serve Him until He returns. We are to get out of the box and serve others with love and compassion.
Jesus Calls Us To Put Our Love into Action
In Matthew 25 we have some of the final teachings of Jesus. The Harmony of the Gospels lists 31 parables Jesus taught. Jesus taught in parables using fictional stories that used the pictorial language and common experiences of the people to teach spiritual truths.
Jesus told a first parable in Matthew 25 about ten bridesmaids to illustrate the Kingdom of Heaven and His return. Five bridesmaids were wise and five were foolish. Five bridesmaids were prepared and ready for the coming of the bridegroom and five were not prepared. When the bridegroom came at an unexpected hour the wise bridesmaids were prepared and were able to participate in the wedding celebration while the foolish bridesmaids were locked out. Jesus summarized the teaching of the parable by saying: “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return,” (Matthew 25:13)
Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus gives the parable of the Talents. In this parable Jesus is saying that everyone is given spiritual gifts and abilities by the Lord for the purpose of using them in service to others. One is given five bags of gold, another two bags of gold and one bag of gold to the last. The individuals with five bags of gold and two bags of gold both invested the money both doubled their money. The man with one bag of gold buried his gold for safekeeping. The two individuals who doubled their talents were blessed and the one talent person who buried his talent was condemned.
After Jesus ascended into heaven he expected his followers to continue the work He started and invest their lives in serving others. Jesus sums up the parable of the Talents by saying: “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away.” Matthew 25:29
Jesus made it clear that we are to be prepared everyday for His possible return. We are to invest our lives in serving Him until He does return. In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus teaches us just how we are to serve Him until He returns. (Final Judgment)
From these parables we can draw several truths to guide us in being prepared to serve the Lord until Jesus returns.
Serving the Lord is Expected of all Christ Followers
Jesus expected all His followers to have compassion and love for others. If you see a need, do your best to meet the need if at all possible.
Every follower of Jesus is given opportunities to serve. I Peter 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” The Lord will not call us to serve Him in any way that we don’t have the capacity to serve. Everyone has something to offer in service to Jesus. The main question is: “Will I be available.” “If I feel drawn to a certain area and have a passion to serve, am I willing to be trained and equipped to serve in that area of ministry?”
The Apostle Paul declares in Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord Jesus…do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…it is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Ground, is level in serving the Lord. Every work for Jesus will be blest whether serving in a visible or not so visible position. Leonard Bernstein, the late conductor of the New York Philharmonic orchestra, was once asked to name the most difficult instrument to play. Without hesitation, he replied, “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm – that’s a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.”
Serving in second fiddle positions is in keeping with the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said in Mark 10:43-44, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” Someone has said: “Those who lead in God’s kingdom lead from a kneeling position, dressed as a servant, meeting the needs of those who follow them.”
Jesus demonstrated “Second Fiddle” leadership. Jesus led with humility. At the Last Supper Jesus took on the role of a servant and washed the feet of his disciples and encouraged his disciples to serve others just as he served them.
To serve others we have to give up our own rights and surrender to the Lord. Have you heard or felt like saying:
“I’m entitled to...”
“I deserve ……”
“You owe me …”