Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father…
In the text the thought is not that the just failed to discern the Master in the men they helped, but that Christ is to be the motive of all action. Let us consider for a few moments this ideal of a Christian worker.
I. THE BEAUTY OF SELF-FORGETFULNESS. In nature we see this lack of self-consciousness. There is no deeper tint to the bloom of the flower because there is an admiring crowd. The stars look down as beautifully in the silent desert, etc. The sea breaks and scatters its treasures on a dead shore, etc. There is an utter self-obliviousness. How this self-forgetfulness adds to the charms of a child. A saint loses his sanctity when we see that he thinks himself saintly.
II. SELF-FORGETFULNESS CONTRIBUTES TO POWER. A traveller says, while climbing an ice-bridge in the Alps, he had to cut in the ice rests for his feet. There was no trouble in doing this so long as his mind was centred on his work, and he forgot self and danger. When he thought of self he trembled, and to tremble there was death. The man who loses all thought of self in a grand work, enlarges his nature until he seems to circle beyond the stars.
III. SELF-FORGETFULNESS CONTRIBUTES TO HAPPINESS. There is joy in an unselfish ministry. Look at the steps by which we attain to this.
1. The first feeling in looking to Christ is that of shame, because of our sinfulness and insincerity.
2. The next thought: "How can I attain to the exalted life of Christ?"
3. Then our thoughts of self are lost in admiration of the excellences of Jesus. Christ becomes enthroned within us, and He is a force that manifests Himself constantly. The Christian shines unconsciously — as the jewel sparkles, as the bird sings. Love thinks nothing of the sacrifice it makes. Told of what it has done, it blushes at what it deems unmerited praise. Self-forgetfulness is the first sign that we are doing work for the God above us.
(C. D. Bridgeman, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then 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: