Sunday, November 17, 2013
Sermon Series: For Goodness’ Sake?
Scripture: Matthew 25:31-40
31 “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.’
*Gather with your family, friends, small group or Sunday school class and discuss these questions in depth.
1. We sometimes have a tendency to gloss over verses leading to the “main subject matter” of the text, but it is of utmost importance to pay attention to the first verse in this selection (verse 31). Let the text paint the glorious picture of Jesus Christ–the perfect Son of God who took on the weight of the world’s sins and God’s wrath and paid the price of them for us by being crucified–sitting on his throne for ALL to see and know that HE is King over all creation.
2. Jesus will separate people from one another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Who do the sheep represent? Why do you think the animal to represent this group of people is sheep? Why goats for the other group?
3. Is there any significance to Jesus sorting His blessed people to His right?
4. What did the blessed do for the hungry? thirsty? stranger? naked? sick? imprisoned?
5. What did the blessed answer Jesus after he celebrated them?
6. Have you ever done something good for someone? Did you feel good? Have you ever done good for someone so that you would feel good about yourself or that others would see you as good?
7. Who do we do missions (good deeds) for? Refer to verse 40.
1. We are not naturally holy; God takes us through a process of sanctification throughout our lives to makes us more like Jesus. Part of that process is reading God’s word. Are you in the word everyday? How can you adjust your schedule so that you will make time for reading Scripture? (TRY THIS: Wake up 30 minutes earlier every morning to spend time in the word and in prayer–“Bible, or No Breakfast”).
2. At Cypress UMC, we proclaim that we are “Loving God; Loving Neighbor.” Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 13, that we can do or say any good thing, but if we don’t have love, it is meaningless. Some believe that when Paul says the word “love” in this text, it is a reference to Jesus, meaning that what we say and do is meaningless unless we have Jesus, for He is the reason we love (1 John 3:16-17). SO THEN, read 1 Corinthians 13 for the definition of HOW we truly love one another in a Christ-like way. (*Just for fun, read through 1 Corinthians 13 another time and replace the word “love” with your name. Does the scripture ring true? Now try replacing “love” with Jesus Christ.)
3. How can you react differently to the homeless when you see them on street corners? How can you show them LOVE?
4. How can you hold yourself accountable every day to live the way Christians are called to live (besides the obvious way: reading your Bible)? Will you remember to drive more Christ-like if you put a Christian symbol or bumper sticker on your car? Will you remember to speak and act more Christ-like if you wear a Christian t-shirt? What will work for you?