Parables #12: “NGO” scams! Unmasked traffickers 

Parables #12: “NGO” scams! Unmasked traffickers 

prédication Évangile selon Matthieu 25 : Patrice Berger, 2023_08_19, église AB Lausanne

titre : Parables #12: “NGO” scams! Unmasked traffickers 

Résumé : What I am determines my actions. What I am with God determines my actions and their values ​​in the eyes of God. The good or its absence, for God with believers, reveals my attachment to God or not. Good is not independent of God. Linked to His person, it has value, without Him it is a sterile counterfeit.

Sequence of 3 parables

Today, we will again have a sequence of 3 parables. For the first 2, we looked into it a few months ago.

Determining spiritual choice

Where we had been able to measure again that our spiritual choice has immense consequences and Jesus never ceased to remind us of this.

Choosing the Kingdom of God through Jesus

Either I seize the hand that He extends to me to be reconciled with God, that is to say « accepting Christ as Savior and Lord of his fallen life (therefore in opposition to God) » is synonymous with being in the kingdom of God .

Don’t Choose Jesus

Either I do not change anything in my fallen life and therefore remain in opposition to God.

All my actions, my spiritual quests remain outside the kingdom of God and therefore depend on the spiritual guardianship of the enemy of God.

No other possibilities

Note: the Bible never speaks of a third option where man would be independent of these 2 spiritual guardianships.

Accuracy of Matthew 24 & 25

Like I said, the choice I make in my life,

to choose Christ
or neglect Him,

my whole life
and for eternity.
Especially in relation to the return

sure and
of Christ, certain aspects of which He clarifies for us in chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew.

To make us aware of this, Jesus gives a first parable in

Matthew 25. 1-13 .


Comparison wise brides

On the occasion of marriages, the brides full of wisdom, take their precautions to wait for their husbands and if this one delays, by having fuel for their oil lamps, whatever the moment,are compared to believers who wisely orient their lives in a practical way, to be ready for the sure and sudden return of Jesus, even if He seems to be late…

Crazy Brides Comparison

On the occasion of weddings, crazy brides made no special arrangements to wait for their husbands. If he is late, their lamps will go out and they will have to refuel, running the risk of missing the appointment with the husband and it will be too late forever…are compared to people who live their lives without worrying about Jesus and his certain and sudden return. But when the time comes, they will not be ready for Jesus, then they will have eternal regrets.


Say positively

An attitude of vigilant life in the face of the certain and unexpected return of Jesus is to lead one’s life now wisely. Joy and bliss crown such an attitude.

say negatively

An irresponsible attitude is to live one’s life without worrying about Jesus (and therefore about His sudden and certain return). A « clap » of definitive end will fall…

Sequence of parables:

The sequence of the 2nd parable gives more details to describe this wise expectation.

Matthew 25. 14-30


Two faithful servants and lives for Christ

The management successes of the first two servants are commended and open to other responsibilities are compared to divine approval and entry into the Eternity of God where He entrusts His consequent children with other responsibilities.

The immobility of the last servant condemned irreparably by the master is compared to those who take advantage of the life and capacities that God has given them, without giving any thought to Him.

The sad and regrettable Eternity, far from God, is reserved for them.


It doesn’t matter what capacities for life God gives us, what matters is what we do with them for God during our life; Christ will take stock of it for eternity:

  • at His side with other responsibilities;

away from Him forever without any flavor of life (regrets and difficulties instead).
Identity determines what they do

What is notable in these 2 parables is that the identity of these people conditions

their actions here below
and their eternity.
The identity of future brides is either wise or crazy.

Wisdom in the Bible is to think and act according to God in all things.

A bit more detailed wisdom

This wisdom is revealed a little more in the following parable where we see servants invest themselves for their master or not.

Servants are either

good and faithful ( Matthew 25. 20 & 23 );
bad and lazy therefore useless ( Matthew 25. 26 & 30 );
and what they are is revealed in their actions.

A reflection of what they do is made clear in the 3rd parable .


Jesus does the sorting

Jesus, at his glorious return, sorts out humanity between

those who are blessed by His father
and those who are not.
Just like (comparison):

A shepherd who sorts between the goats and the sheep

to put them in different enclosures.

Shearing in Sisteron

I had the privilege of participating in the sheep shearing at a shepherd’s in Sisteron (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence),

600 ewes and
between 6-9 goats.
There were 3 of us bringing the sheep to the shearers, roughly 200 heads per person. Well calmed down (by the fatigue and the smell of ammonia -urine of the ewes locked up since the winter in the sheepfold-), it was necessary to make the goats. Nothing to do with their sizes and bodybuilding.

We all had to get down to it to control them and to shear the thin wool that there was.


the goats and
the ewes
were not in the same fold, they were separated…

Different identity and actions between goats and sheep

All this to say that there is nothing to do between sheep and goats.

And this not only at the level of the size and the muscles, but also at the level of

what theyre doing
and bring
each other in the herd.

Moreover, the difference between the two was not evident in the flocks of Jesus’ time and in Palestine. The watchful gaze of the shepherd made it possible to sort out.

And it is this different identity with the actions that flow from it that Jesus details to His listeners.

Matthew 25. 31-33

31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all the [holy] angels,

he will sit on his throne of glory.

32 All the nations will be gathered before him.

He will separate one from another,


the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

33 he will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

The comparison

Simple comparison

Just as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats, Jesus, at his glorious return, will carry out a sorting of the same type for all humanity.


Chapters 24 & 25 of Matthew tell us about the return of Jesus and it is particularly characterized here by the angels who accompany him and the direct transition between

The son of the man
and his status as king.
Matthew 25. 34-46

34 Then the king will say to those on his right hand:

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take possession of the kingdom which was prepared for you from the creation of the world!

35 Indeed,

I was hungry and you gave me something to eat;

I was thirsty and you gave me drink;

I was a stranger and you welcomed me;

36 I was naked and you clothed me;

I was sick and you visited me;

I was in prison and you came to me.’

37 The righteous will answer him, ‘

Lord, when did we see you

hungry and did we feed you,

or thirsty and have we given you something to drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you,

or naked and have we dressed you?

39 When did we see you sick or in prison and come to you?’

40 And the king will answer them:

‘I tell you the truth,

all the times you have done this to one of these least of my brothers,

you did it to me.’

41 Then he will say to those on his left:

‘Depart from me, you accursed ones, go into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and for his angels!

42 Indeed,

I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat;

I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink;

43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me;

I was naked and you did not dress me;

I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

44 They will also answer:

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison and not serve you?’

45 And he will answer them:

‘Truly I tell you, whenever you haven’t done this to one of these little ones, you haven’t done it to me.’

46 And they will go to eternal punishment, while the righteous will go to eternal life.”

Identity and actions for Jesus

Very interesting. Note that it is because they are

 » Sheep « ,
 » the fair « 
that they were attentive to the « little ones », the king’s brothers.

But the surprise of these believers is the link between

good done to a believer
which corresponds to doing good to the King himself, ie Jesus.
We will come back to it.

Wrong Way

But what this text does not say above all is that doing good would condition God’s choice and His sorting.

And unfortunately, this text has often been misunderstood or exploited in this way.

It is not because I do good that I become

« sheep » or
 » goat « …
Spiritual identity sources of our actions

It’s because I’m a sheep that I act like one


because I am a goat that I act in another way.

The sequence of the 3 parables insists on the fact that the spiritual personality of 2 categories of people (wise or crazy brides & good and faithful or bad, lazy, useless servants) conditions their actions.
There again, in this 3 rd parabolic illustration, it is the identity which conditions the actions.
The emphasis is on the surprise of doing it to the glorious Jesus, when at their level they acted only on a human level.
The actions we take do not have the same scope.

Actions are a revealer

We see in this text that our actions reveal our spiritual identity.

The content of this action

Here to come to the aid of one of « the least of my brothers », quite simply the believer in all his greatness, that is to say his fragility, his humility and his confidence and dependence on Christ, who finds himself in posture and who needs help.

The connection with Christ is central

help them when they are in trouble,

not for them as such,
not out of spiritual preference,
not because they are members of the local church « club »,
but because they are attached to Christ, they are part of the body of Christ.

It is Christ and His connection with « these least of my brethren » that is the focus.

Let’s go back to the CCVA (Context, Comparison, Truth, Application)…


Note how the general context and more particularly of the 2 previous parables helped us not to be mistaken at a time on the nature of the sorting that Jesus will do, based on spiritual identity according to Him And on the expression of this identity, the actions of lives here below during our lifetime!


We can refine it.

The sorting performed by a shepherd who separates his sheep from the goats in his flock because they are and do not have the same things is compared

to Jesus who, at His glorious return, will operate a sorting of the same type for all humanity, between his brothers and the others who are spiritually different and do not do the same things, especially with believers because they are attached to Christ.


Sheep or Goat?

Eternal devotion to Christ is revealed by the good done for God to believers in difficulty


The choice of the kingdom in which we want to live is seen by our actions vis-à-vis the followers of Christ. Especially those who are struggling.

1) Example among the disciples at the beginning of the Church

In this, the first believers in Jesus were in this direction:

Acts 4.32 – 5.6

32 The crowd of those who believed was one heart and one soul.

No one said that his property was his own, but they pooled everything.

33 With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace rested upon them all.

34 There was no needy among them:

all those who owned fields or houses sold them, brought the price of what they had sold 35 and laid it at the feet of the apostles; and distributions were made to each according to his needs.

36 Joseph – whom the apostles called Barnabas,

which means “son of encouragement” –,

a Levite from Cyprus,

37 sold a field he owned,

brought the money and laid it at the feet of the apostles.

Acts – Chapter 5

1 However, a man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a property 2 and kept part of the price,

in agreement with his wife.

He brought the rest and laid it at the feet of the apostles.

3 Peter said to him:

“Ananias, why did Satan fill your heart, so that you lied to the Holy Spirit and kept part of the price of the field?

4 If it had not been sold,

didn’t you have left?

And, having sold it, didn’t you have the right to dispose of the price?

How could you have formed such a project in your heart?

It is not to men that you have lied, but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard these words,

he fell and expired.

Great fear seized all who heard of it.

2) The apostles too

Biblical norm that we find in the epistles. For example, the apostle Paul in the Epistle to the

Galatians chapter 6. 10

10 So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all and especially to those close to us in the faith.

3) To see if I keep this replica

Why does Jesus focus on doing good to His troubled children?

The context of Matthew 24 & 25. The end times and the return of Christ, where just as at his first coming, there will be an outburst of hostilities against God and those who are attached to Him.

The times are marked and polarized.

The habit in this period which precedes the return of Christ will be rather:

Matthew 10. 21

21 Brother will deliver brother to death, and father his child; children will rise up against their parents and put them to death.

Reflection & Meditation

As I mentioned earlier, this parable underlines the link made between the particular regard of God for the good done to his brothers, because they are linked to Christ.

To do good to His disciples is to do it to Him, (nothing extraordinary, Christ = Head of the Body which is the Church).

The social gospel does not exist

Although this has been said in the history of the Church, by exploiting this text, what good can do saves, the social Gospel does not exist! And the most apt parable on the subject of helping others (but there is no question of the believer) is that of the good Samaritan. That is why, in a teasing way, I titled this sermon:

“NGO” scams! Unmasked traffickers

The good should ask us about our origins

This parable pushes us to meditate further: doing good to believers in difficulty has value because they are children of God; the emphasis is on the connection with Christ.

The “good” done without a connection to God?

What about “good” done without a connection to God?

Echo of original nature

Doing « good things » without Christ is a distant echo of our original nature damaged by our voluntary separation from God.

should question us

The good without God asks us about Him

Doing “good things” without Christ should make us question “where does this come from”? While there are so many other opposite desires within us: comfort, indifference and even stronger negative feelings.

This should make us wonder about the One who is Good personified.

False humanist road

What is the meaning of “positive actions” without God?

The example of bees

The Social Gospel does not exist

In a hive, all activity is linked to the queen. If the queen dies, the hive dies. If the bees die, no more pollination in nature. Nature is in danger.

Our existence is linked to the Creator; our actions must be linked to the creator.


What I do, I don’t do for

my wife,
my children,
my mission,
my NGO,
my fellowship of churches,
For the young,
for refugees,
for lepers,
but for God, through

my mission,
my NGO,
my church fellowship,
For the young,
for refugees,
Re-formatting our priority

Let’s ask God to help us « re-format » the software of our thoughts. We have a huge priority problem.

Colossians 3. 23-24

Addressing believers in Christ, not people who are not Christ’s to become, the apostle Paul says:

23 Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, as for the Lord and not for men,

24 knowing that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.

[Indeed,] the Lord whom you serve is Christ.
25 But he who does wrong will receive the reward for his wrongdoing, and there is no favouritism.

We can see the same subject from the angle of the Kingdom of God of which Jesus speaks so much.

Good in the Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is all that corresponds to God.

Believers correspond to it through Christ (sinners pardoned by Christ; apart from Christ, they deserve the righteous wrath of God).

The good they do

for their neighbours,
for their brothers
has an echo in this Kingdom.

In the sphere that corresponds to God.

The good apart from God

“Good things,” which are done outside of God’s sphere, are done outside of His kingdom!

“Good” without God is a sterile counterfeit.

At best, it’s an imprint, a remnant following the rejection of God or even a species reflex

But above all, it is carried out in the sphere of inspiration and influence of the enemy of God.

Let us give meaning to our life through our bond with God – bond through Christ – which will manifest itself with beauty towards our neighbour, and particularly for our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Bible Passages

Matthew 25:32-33

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Matthew 10:21

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

Acts 4:32

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

Related Links / Notes

Theme : the Parables of Jesus

Study Notes are translated from the original French version prepared by the pastor Patrice Berger. The orginal French notes are in « note » form, and are not a direct transcription of the video, however they are quite close the original text preached at the church. The notes provided here follow that form, and are detailed enough to help provide a deep understanding of the texts of the parables.

All services as well as some of the bible studies are streamed on the channel  YouTube église AB Renens-Lausanne.  Also visit the You Tube channel of the Swiss Action Biblique Youth Groups (JAB Suisse Romande)/ Facebook.

Bible verses in the study link to the Bible in Basic English (BBE). which is available as podcast on Spotify


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