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Knowing About and Knowing From 
Scripture: Jesus said, “I tell you the truth,whatever you did not do for one of the least of these,you did not do for me.”  Mt. 25:45, NIV
Gingerbread House
   We see the world around us with the attributes of height, width, and depth - three dimensions. We form an estimate of distance and size, which is helpful when moving around, especially if we are driving a vehicle. Even when we look at a picture, we assume that, say, a building has a back and end that we can not see. No, it is not on the other side of the page. This is all that you will know about a picture of a  Gingerbread House. You can not tell what ingredients are used to make it. You can guess about some of them: If you are really serious, you can get the recipe and instructions. Then you will know what ingredients were used, and what the back side looks like.
        Yes, there is a big difference about knowing  from actual experience, and just knowing about something.
    In the book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (by Harriet Beecher Stowe), Mr. St. Clair is discussing Matthew 25:31-46, with his cousin, Miss Ophelia. He comments, “One should have expected some terrible enormities charged to those who are excluded from heaven, as the reason; but no - they are condemned for not doing positive good, as if that included every possible harm.” “Perhaps,” said Miss Ophelia, “it is impossible for a person who does no good not to do harm.”
    In essence, Jesus is saying that because we know who He is, and are willing to help Him (Jesus) if we saw Him in need, is no better than just looking at the picture of the gingerbread house. Unless you do it, you will have only a picture. You can’t smell it, taste  it, or know the full dimensions of it. As far as being rewarded by the real thing, is there any difference between the expert baker who doesn’t bake, and the person who doesn’t know how to go about it? Both will go equally hungry; both are condemned for doing nothing!
    Putting it another way, doing good and doing harm are like two sides to a coin; you get either one or the other!

December 17, 2000

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