Saturday, April 07, 2007

As Close as we Come to as Good as it Gets.

Matthew 25:34-40

34 • Then the King will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world.

35 • For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

37 • Then the righteous will answer him,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?'
39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
40 And the King will answer them,
'Truly, I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,
you did it to me.'

The eternal state is as good as it gets and this invitation is as close as we come in the here and now to getting a glimpse of what that will be like. Such will be the satisfaction of seeing the King —
Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar. [Isaiah 33:17]
— that all questions about what we shall be will be answered when and as we see him [1 John 3:2.] The questions will be about when we might have fed, watered, welcomed, clothed, visited or succoured such a glorious being, for surely we'd have remembered someone so bright. (You know, glowing/glorious, not someone like Richard Dawkins.) And what's more when would someone so glorious have needed sustenance, care or emancipation from the likes of us?

The question will be 'When?'
• Not, 'How?' Because the connections of how are obvious; when someone is hungry what else will you do but feed them?
• Not, 'Why?' For why else would you give a drink than if someone were thirsty?
• Not, 'Who?' Because it's not at issue that Christ has received these things. The question is, 'When?'

It will turn out that 'when' was 'whenever' — whenever the righteous have done to one another as they would have done to themselves. The King calls the recipients, brothers, because they are fellow heirs who have received the adoption.

Just as there is a fitness between the need felt and the help supplied and between doing it to the least and it being accepted as if having been done to the greatest, just so there is a fitness about believers inheriting the kingdom.
The kingdom will be inherited
• as it has been prepared from the foundation of the world
• by those who receive the familial blessing of the King of kings
• along with the King of Glory whose own entrance into the glory prepared for him is to be marked and made complete by his bringing many sons to glory [Hebrews 2:10.]

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