44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t do anything to help you?’ 45 Then he will answer, ‘I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.’
I’m not sure why, but recently when I look at scripture, I have been drawn to think about the ways people can use the scripture to twist what I believe. When I read this passage, I thought about the ways people have said that God just watches us to punish us. In this passage, it talks about Jesus coming to judge the nations. It can make us feel that Jesus is keeping tabs on everything we do or fail to do. In fact, we know that God is all knowing, all seeing, and all present, but this should give us comfort and not scare us into doing things.
I think the point of this passage is to remind us we are truly made in God’s image, just as Jesus was. We are all part of the family of God and deserve to be seen and cared for. Some will argue that there are those who are past the point of helping, some don’t want help, and others don’t deserve help. But Jesus is saying that all of us need help at some point in time, and we should be willing to offer whatever small thing we can. It could just be a glass of water, a sandwich, a donation to the school supply drive, or even donating used clothing or housewares to the local homeless shelter.
Jesus is saying to help others just as we would if he walked in and asked for a cup of water. He is saying, “I am watching what you are doing, and I need you to help people in ways that will alleviate some of their need.” In turn, if we do these things for others, they will see Jesus in us. There is no need for us to keep a tally because we can’t ever do enough, but we can strive to do something for someone every day, and we will be rewarded – with a smile, someone telling us we made their day, or just a tentative thank you. Jesus reminds us that these common ways to help – feeding people, welcoming people, visiting people, and clothing people all make such a big difference in people’s lives and in furthering the kingdom of God.
by Janet Waryck
For Pondering & Prayer
Do we see others as God sees them? If you did not attend the 9 o’clock service on Sunday, you missed Nate and the band playing Brandon Heath’s “Give Me Your Eyes”. Check it out on the church’s YouTube channel if you have a minute, the words are powerful. It’s right at the start of the worship service recording.
Prayer: All seeing, all present God, give us your eyes to see people as you see them – as family who may just need a friendly glance, a cup of cold water, or encouragement for them to see you in us. Give us courage, kindness, and wisdom to show others your love. Amen.