"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 it unto me." Matt. 25:40.
In doing deeds for or to others we gain a reward. The reward however, is determined by the nature of the deed. If it was an unkind or bad deed then we can expect that kind of treatment ourselves. Likewise if the deed was good and kind then we can expect that kind of treatment ourselves. These deeds are not necessarily reciprocated from that exact person or in exactly the same way, but the sentiment will come back to us. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7.
If we plant roses we don't expect to get edible grain. If we plant thorns and thistles we don't expect to get a harvest of beautiful fruit. If we want grain we plain grain, if we want fruit we plant a fruit tree. "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Matt. 7:16-19.
The greatest example that we have of someone unselfishly giving of something of extreme value to Himself, is God giving His Son. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:16, 17.
There has only ever been one man whom God asked to do a similar thing, and that was Abraham. God never intended for Abraham to actually kill his son, but He wanted to test Abraham to see how faithfully he would follow any command God gave him. Abraham passed this test, and God provided a ram for a sacrifice. (Gen. 22:1-13.)
It is not only the big acts that everybody watching us perform that counts. For God sees every act we do whether it is good or bad. "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." (Eccl. 12:14.) "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Rev. 20:12.)
Jesus often spoke in parables so that those who were spiritually minded could understand Him. This is one of the parables He told:
"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: 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: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
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: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
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 it unto me.
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: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 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.
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?
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.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2013. Last updated July, 2020.
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