Least of These Bakers, Florists, & Photographers

least_of_these

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.’ Matthew 25:40

He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:46

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who is Jesus referring to with the phrase “the least of these?” Many folks think the “least of these” are those in poverty. However, although caring for the poor is indeed a biblical call, that’s not who Jesus is speaking of. Denny Burk comments:

Contrary to popular belief, “the least of these” in Matthew 25:40 is not talking generically about our obligation to care for the poor and needy. We know this because the terms “least of these” and “my brothers” appear elsewhere in Matthew’s gospel, and in each case the terms specifically refer to Jesus’ disciples who have been sent out into the world to preach the gospel.

With this in mind, Burk helps to bring the text’s application to our doorstep. He shows who the “least of these” are in 2015.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I like Christ. I just don’t like Christians.” Jesus says that if you don’t like his disciples—if you reject them—you are rejecting Him. There is no version of Christianity that allows you to follow Christ while mistreating His body. And it won’t matter how much you profess your love for Christ if you reject and mistreat his body. What you do with Christ’s people will tell everything that needs to be told about you at the judgment.

This text is not about poor people generally. It’s about Christians getting the door slammed in their face while sharing the gospel with a neighbor. It’s about the baker/florist/photographer who is being mistreated for bearing faithful witness to Christ. It’s about disciples of Jesus having their heads cut off by Islamic radicals. In other words, it’s about any disciple of Jesus who was ever mistreated in the name of Jesus. This text shows us that Jesus will judge those who show contempt for the gospel by mistreating gospel-bearers.

However, even with this stark reality, there is still hope.

The good news is that Jesus offers mercy even to his enemies. If you have been at odds with the “least of these,” there is time to get this right. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, and he has been raised from the dead to offer us eternal life. We receive this gift of salvation simply by repenting from sin and trusting in Christ. That invitation of mercy is open to everyone reading this—including those who have mistreated the least of these.

Read the whole post here.

 

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About Dana Dill

I am a happy slave of Jesus Christ, a thankful husband to Chawna Dill, and the youth pastor of South Shores Church. I'm here on assignment (Acts 20:24).
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2 Responses to Least of These Bakers, Florists, & Photographers

  1. Oh God! Those poor children!

    Do you take your homophobia into that middle school? What about the gay children there?

    And, what baker has been mistreated? There is no mistreatment in laws against discrimination being applied to bakers.

  2. Dana Dill says:

    Hey Clare,

    Thank you for commenting. However, I will ask you to refrain from name calling. I would like the discussion here to be loving and cordial. Thank you.

    “What baker has been mistreated?” Forcing bakers, photographers, and florists to go against their conscience with the threat of lawsuits or bankruptcy is the mistreatment I am thinking of. Like this example: http://www.dennyburk.com/christian-baker-forced-into-bankruptcy-for-refusing-to-participate-in-same-sex-wedding/

    I believe that people should not be forced to use their professional skills to do something that goes against their conscience or religious belief. For example, I would say it is wrong to force for a Jewish baker to make Bacon Cake (if such a delicious thing were to exist). Or, to use another example, it would be wrong to force a black man to bake a cake for the local Klu Klux Klan meeting.

    I hope that’s helpful. Thanks Clare.

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