Friday, July 25, 2014

The Least of These

Have you ever had a passage from the Bible stick in your head and stir in your heart? I’m not talking about in a comforting and restful way. I’m talking about the way the Holy Spirit prods and pokes relentlessly to align you with His will. Take a moment to read Matthew 25:31-46.

This is a passage that haunts me. This is a passage that burns in the background of my thoughts.
Come here, you beloved, you people whom My Father has blessed. Claim your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of creation. You shall be richly rewarded, for when I was hungry, you fed Me. And when I was thirsty, you gave Me something to drink. I was alone as a stranger, and you welcomed Me into your homes and into your lives. I was naked, and you gave Me clothes to wear; I was sick, and you tended to My needs; I was in prison, and you comforted Me. (Matthew 25.34-36, The Voice)

In the whole passage it’s not only the command that is strong and clear… it is the repercussions of a life that is not centered on these things in some way.  Jesus is taking this whole thing pretty seriously. You could say that these are the distinctions of His people, and those that don't do these things are not His people.

All throughout the Gospels (the stories of Jesus in the Bible) we see over and over again that Jesus had compassion on people and their circumstances. Jesus wept with people. He entered into their situations and brought healing, peace, and wholeness. He was demonstrating (as he says in this passage) what His Kingdom is like. Its a kingdom where Christ is bringing wholeness to brokenness. And in this passage its not just spiritual brokenness but physical brokenness. Jesus never separated the two as he did ministry.

So how are we doing with these sorts of people and situations? How are we bringing wholeness? How are we treating “the least of these”? I hope that the words of Christ stir in your souls like this passage has challenged me.

- Matt Stowell

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