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A Hard Saying

Doing good to the least of these
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Doing Good". See series.

Introduction: A hard saying

This morning we come to one of the hard sayings of Jesus. There are quite a few of them, actually. I have a book on my shelf with over 40 of them. Some of them are hard to understand; others are hard to accept; and others are hard to do. This saying in Matthew 25 is all three of these: "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." What does that mean? Is it really true? And what are we supposed to do about it? It's such a hard saying that I've never actually preached on it. But it's a saying we must understand, accept, and do, if we want to be his people in the world, and if we want to be sure of our standing before God.

So far in our series we have learned that doing good means following Jesus for the sake of others. Last week we focused on the everyday people in our lives—consequential strangers—and learned that doing good means seeing people as Jesus sees them and finding a way to bless them.

I don't know if you had a chance to try that this week, but yesterday I was working on the message and decided to make a quick coffee run. I hopped in the car and headed to the local Dunkin Donuts. On the way it occurred to me that I should practice what I'm preaching. I should pay for the person behind me in the drive-thru. Now, I'm not really the spontaneous, outgoing type, so this was going to be a stretch for me. But I was determined. I pulled up and placed my order, and sure enough, a car pulled up behind me. I tried to look in the rearview to see who I was going to bless, but with the rain and reflection I couldn't see a thing. That's when it occurred to me that there could be a hungry family of five in that car, or maybe the entire front line of the high ...

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Bryan Wilkerson is pastor of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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Sermon Outline:


A hard saying

I. What's happening here?

II. Who are the least of these?

III. What does God expect of us?

IV. What if we fail?