"And the King will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me'." - Matthew 25:40
The least--do we look for the least to befriend? Do we have an eye for the least--to spend time with them, to take an interest in them, and to do for them things they need?
Strangers--the hungry--those who always need clothing--prisoners--those lacking basic real necessities; How often do my thoughts and my heart gravitate to such people? When I see someone like that, my heart is at times moved; but what do I do about it?
The astounding statement of the Lord Jesus about this is profound and radical--"as you did it [directly minister to such people] to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me."
Doing it to Jesus? Are we? I confess I don't near enough; it's costly, at times it is time-consuming; it is sacrificial and necessitates self-denial.
Doing it to the least IS doing it to Jesus? I rarely think of it enough; when I do, and the reality sits in of how much I neglect in this regard, I have to hang my heart in poverty-stricken shame and admit, "I am not like that at all or at least, very rarely."
I love Keith Green's words in his song, I Want To Be More Like Jesus:
The end of all my prayer
Is to care like my Lord cared;
My one and only prayer
His image in my soul.
I want to, I need to, be more like Jesus
I want to, I need to, be more like Jesus.
The fact is, I am not like Him at various levels that reach the deepest part of life. I yet need to be changed so much to think like He does, to see people and situations like He does, to feel what He feels, to choose to deny self and love like He does (especially when no one is watching), and to deny myself and, with love and giving, minister to the least.
If Jesus really meant what He said, then I should be amazed and affected by the astounding fact--when I minister to the least among us, I am literally doing it unto Him.
In your church, do you gravitate to the least or do you avoid them because they are too time-consuming to get close to?
Do you have a heart to hang out with the less desirable- to have them over for a meal instead of your favorite family in the church?
Getting real is hard to do. I need to get real in this reality more and make myself think and live this way.
"If you've done it to the least of these my brothers, you've done it unto Me."
- Mack Tomlinson