Anglican Morning Devotion, 20 October 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion of Churches
“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” (MATTHEW 10:40-42; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Our Lord is quoted in saying the term, “Verily, Verily I say unto you,” at least thirty times, according to my count, in the Gospel of St. Matthew alone. This was a term of emphasis used by our Lord demanding particular attention to that which followed.
Our Lord Jesus Christ employed the simple vocabulary of the people in His teaching and always taught from the known to the unknown (a basic teaching principle) in His sermons. Though He spoke with simplicity of language, every word was of supreme importance, and not a single word should be deleted by so-called ‘higher critics’ who question every word and principle of the Gospel. They proclaim themselves to be wiser than those who walked with Jesus and were the transcribers of the New Testament.
Just as we in the Reformation Church use symbols to illustrate higher truths, so did our Lord in His use of parables and symbols to teach from the common understanding of the people – terms such as vessels of wood, stone, and silver; Himself as Chief Cornerstone of the Building; Himself as the Bright and Morning Star; the Pearl of Great Price; and the Seven Candles of the Book of Revelation.
In our cited text above from Matthew, He is teaching the principles of Gospel reception. He is the Fountainhead of Truth and Love; and His Father is the great Source of the Well-Springs of Living Water that feed the Fountainhead. All who teach the truth of the Gospel do so with the authority of Heaven for it is the Word itself that bears its own authority.
In the Book of James, we are told the most direct way of giving to our Lord. Believe it or not, it is not the offering plate at the Church, though that may result in a very proper use – it is the giving directly to widows, orphans and those in greatest need. That is tantamount to giving DIRECTLY to our Lord Jesus Christ: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (JAMES 1:27), and, “And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (MATTHEW 25:33-40)
In Matthew, the first use of the term, “Verily, I say unto thee,” is found in Matthew 5:18 –”For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” This is a profoundly important truth. God’s Word has not been withheld from His elect from the early church until now, false Bible versions notwithstanding. God would not have included the last eleven verses of Mark 16, or the grace-filled account of the Woman taken in adultery in John 8:1-11, for all those centuries as the modern perVersions aver. The Church would have been without the undiluted Word of God for the first fifteen centuries had God failed to preserve His Word inviolate – not to mention the so-called allegedly missing verses that the modern versions omit.
This last verse refers to those of the lowest standing spiritually as well as socially. The love, evidence in kindness, is passed from Christ to His disciple, and from His disciple to his sheep – the same mentioned in Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”
Friends, what kindness have you provided to the least of those His brethren of late?