Pressure (Matthew 24-25)

Posted: April 28, 2008 in Tim's Sermons

It isn’t included in the audio here, but Lamar and some folks did a skit at the beginning where five people were prepared for the wedding banquet and the rest were too late. The door slammed shut, they pounded on the door and shouted, but the Groom said, “I don’t know you.” My first line was, “And that’s exactly how it will be when the Lord Jesus returns.”

audio

What is Jesus looking for? Here’s my best effort at putting it into one line: An intimate relationship with Christ that bears the fruit of sacrificial love for people.

Mother Theresa put it this way: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

Something about the Sheep and the Goats passage that I keep on thinking – the concrete needs of people around me may be Jesus come to test me as He shows up in His most surprising and disturbing disguises.

A couple of weeks ago (Easter weekend, actually) a middle-aged looking male and female interrupted my day at the office to tell me that they were really hungry and hadn’t eaten in days. I scrounged around and gave them a ham that happened to be in the fridge – I think I have them some pork and beans too. I apologized that I didn’t have any cash for them and told them that right now it’s what I can do, but that they should come back and we’ll get them plugged into our actual benevolence network. They seemed really happy with the food – which made me think, “Okay, this is legit. These people aren’t just trying to mooch and get free money.” Later on I thought – “Man, if Jesus came to visit would I give him a ham and some pork and beans? No way! I’d invite Him over to the house and my wife would cook her Mennonite best!” So that interaction was endowed with a bit of mystery and eschatological (end-time) trepidation.

And I think that a hint of mystery and trepidation is in order, because it could be Jesus in one of his disturbing and surprising disguises.

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Comments
  1. Pat says:

    Tim, God blessed me with your message yesterday. I needed to be reminded of those passages.
    Gordy and I really want to get together with your family. Since you moved we have been sick, and also traveling. Now this week you are traveling:) Have fun. I still want to be your babysitter.

  2. me says:

    hey tim – i was moved by the words you spoke on sunday. sometimes i feel like their are so many things to keep juggling, so many things to keep in the air. i keep looking at those things that i am attempting to keep up. then God comes along and says “Are you kidding me??? What are you trying to do??? Don’t you know when you look at those things you lose complete sight of me??? Let them fall dear child and look at ME!!!! Look at Me!!

  3. J says:

    The juxteposition of Jesus’ words regarding “the place of hypocrites” and Lewis’ quote sticks in my mind. That “there will be surprises” injects appropriate “fear and trembling” into my walk. It seems that the charge that the “church is full of a bunch of hypocrites” really is not a criticism that we ought to glibly brush aside with lines about being imperfect but forgiven. Imperfection is not a sin for which any of us will be condemned, but apparently hypocrisy is.

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