If we could only remember that all we do to our brothers and sisters, or the sick and hurting, or even to little children, we are literally doing to Christ. If we really believed this it would radically change how we relate to others.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
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 25:35-40)
Whatever we do to the least of these…you did it to me.
When we bear with the most difficult Christian, we do it to Christ. When we comfort a friend who’s depressed, we’re do it to Jesus. When we bless our spouse or children, we literally blessing Jesus. When we care for a little one in Children’s Ministry, we care for Christ. When we make a meal for a mom who’s just had a baby, we make a meal for Christ. When we sponsor a child or give to the poor through Covenant Mercies, World Vision or Samaritan’s purse we feed and clothe Jesus. When we take an interest in that immature brother who never takes an interest in us, we do it to Christ.
Conversely, when we slander our brother, we do it to Jesus. When we’re impatient with that sister, we’re impatient toward Christ. When we’re selfish with our family, we’re selfish toward Christ. When we avoid talking with that brother because he irritates us, we avoid Christ.
We have to look past the surface. We have to look past the face of our friend, our spouse, or that annoying brother to see Jesus. We have to look past that snotty-nosed 3-year old to see Jesus. It’s not JUST Bill or Tom or Jessica, it’s not JUST that poor guy who doesn’t smell good – it’s JESUS.
I’m preaching to myself here. How often have I neglected to do good to Christ because I just didn’t want to have to listen to that brother’s problems or visit that sister in the hospital? How often have I missed opportunities to bless Christ by failing to bless my wife? How much of my life has been consumed with providing for my own comfort and pleasures compared with how to care for the poor?
I’m not condemned by my failures, because Christ took my condemnation on the cross. Yet I want the reality of this Scripture to stir me to love and good deeds: ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ And I want to hear Jesus say that to me someday.
So look past the face and do something good to Jesus today.
photo by fleecircus