By: Katie Runnels
Passage: Matthew 25
The next time you find yourself angry, gossiping, or turning someone away who is any sort of need, remember, you are turning Jesus away. Whatever you do to other humans you do to Jesus. Is this hard for you to believe? Read the following excerpt from Matthew:M
31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
You hear it all the time in Christian circles: “What would Jesus do?” Did Jesus say, “in the future, when you are faced with a tough decision, as yourself, ‘what would Jesus do?’, then do whatever you think I would do.” That is far from what Jesus actually said. This is not a guessing game or a game of who is the most spiritual. Jesus is God. And it is not our place to “play God.”
On the contrary, one guide Jesus gave us in regards to how we should behave is to realize that however we treat people (“the least of these brothers and sisters of mine”) is how we treat Jesus himself. Interestingly, he says “least.” What does he mean by “least”? I believe, he is referring to the least popular…. Least popular can be subjective, though. In one circle, someone can be a “king” while in another social circle, someone can be an outcast. Hitler was definitely popular and well-liked amongst his fellow Nazis. However, the Americans were not fans. At some point in time, everyone is “least” popular person…
It is pretty simple, but not easy. When you are faced with a dilemma on how to treat someone, instead of asking yourself “what would Jesus do?” ask yourself, “would I do this to Jesus Christ?” Most likely, you would not.
Prayer: Lord, help me how I treat others is how I treat you. Help me to follow your command and walk in love toward others–in all of my actions.