If we think about it carefully and logically it makes sense that there will be a judgement day at the end of our lives. If God is just, and He is, this is necessary for Him to express His justice and righteousness. There is nothing to fear about our judgement unless we have lived our lives carelessly and without due deference to the truth and the rights of others.

When we read the Gospels we discover numerous parables and sayings of Jesus that indicate to us that we will eventually have to give an account of our lives. Today’s parable is probably the clearest of them all and the most instructive in that it prescribes for us what it means to act for and against the good of others. Jesus tells us that if we treat our fellow men and women badly then we are treating Him badly. Jesus takes it personally when we sin. It is an affront to His goodness and love when we sin!

It is important for us to remember this, as it can be good motivation for us when we have to make difficult decisions. Not only can we be sure that there are consequences to the decisions that we make, but that these consequences directly affect our relationship with God as well as those immediately involved. This does not make God some sort of an ogre seeking vengeance for all our wrongs; it simply means that there are real consequences for our actions that are not always immediately apparent. We can never know that we have done something wrong and believe that we have got away with it without any negative effects occurring to us. At the very least God will demand some sort of accountability on Judgement Day.

This parable is a stark reminder also of our duties towards one another. We do not live our lives in isolation. We live as members of small communities and the wider fraternity of all humanity. We have responsibilities in all of these spheres. Jesus makes it clear to us that He expects us to take a certain interest and role in the lives of others, particularly those less fortunate than ourselves. It seems that He aligns Himself most closely to these ‘Little Ones;’ the ‘anawim’ of the Old Testament. If we want to follow Christ we will have to imitate His life in this aspect as well!

How seriously do I take the fact that there will be a day of reckoning for all that I have done? Am I seeking to share the gifts that I have with others? Do I go out of my way to minister to those less fortunate than I am?

Lord Jesus, you make it very clear to me that I have to love my brother and sister around me even to the point of going out of my way to do so. Help me to overcome the selfishness in my life that hinders me from doing this and teach me how to love as generously as you love all people.