“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers’” – Jesus of Nazareth Son of God
I find it disconcerting to see how often I make the teachings of Jesus into my own theology of works rather than see his teachings as heart issues.
Why do I always jump straight to keeping rules and miss Jesus teaching?
Why do I run toward the rules rather than toward the heart?
Mathew tells me this story of Jesus twice in his gospel. The second time he illustrates the outcome by dividing a flock into sheep and goats. I don’t want to be a goat. Goats are cast into eternal fire.
Quickly, I want to work myself out of a bind. I can feed the hungry, visit prisoners, hand out bottle water, and cloth the naked. Ok, it’s hard but I can do it.
It is too easy to rush to the steps to stay out of hell.
The deeper I get into “thunking,” about all of this the more convinced I become God is into relationships not rules.
Here is what I think. Jesus will say, “I never knew you,” only if I do not know him. His parable is about relationship—not about performance.
If my conscience needs medicating, I can join the Red Cross.
However, I shouldn’t work under the misguided belief that Jesus will claim me as one of his due to my outstanding humanitarian service.
As our relationship grows, my heart will align closer to the rhythm of heartbeat of Jesus.
When it comes to the day of the great flock divide, God will recognize me as one of his—not on the merits of my service record—but on the Jesus texture of my heart.
I can move with confidence toward the flock divide, knowing I will stand before God and hear the words, “This one’s mine. We know each other.”
Gary J. Sorrells – Reflecting on Cross Church
P.S. Could it be that heart alignment with Jesus would cure a divided church?