To the Least
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 22:1-18 | Exodus 28:1-43 | Matthew 25:31-26:13 | Proverbs 8:12-13
Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 25:31-26:13
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40 NIV).
Jesus’ parables have a way of cutting right to the heart of the issue. In his parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus reminds us that love for God is evidenced by our love for one another–especially as we express that love practically in meeting needs.
True love is feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, taking in the immigrant, visiting the lonely prisoner. The amazing part is that Jesus says when we do these practical acts of love and kindness to the “least of these,” it’s like we are doing it for Him. God cares about the poor, the hungry, the immigrant, the prisoner, the hurting. He cares about those who are in need. To show God’s love to them, is to express love to Christ himself.
To fail to show love through practical acts of love and kindness when we are able, is to ignore Christ– to fail to express our love to Him. Either choice has eternal consequences (46).
John makes a similar point in his first Epistle:
“This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another” “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:11, 17-18 NIV).
Jesus could not make it any more clear: love for God must be expressed by loving others–especially those in need. We cannot close our heart to those in need. We cannot forget the “least of these.”
God of Mercy, give us eyes to see this world through your merciful, compassionate eyes. May we see the poor, the needy, the immigrant, the prisoner, the hungry, the hurting, as you do. May we always open our hearts to those in need. Give us wisdom and insight in doing what we can to show your love in practical ways. Amen