I Was...And YouRead Matthew 25:31–40
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All 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. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“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. For 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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.’ ”
This is our third week reading these words from Jesus detailing how we are to serve those in need. He does not call us only to the thirsty and the hungry, but also to those who need clothing and shelter, those who are suffering with illness, and those who are lonely and in prison. Jesus uses one phrase over and over: I was…and you. In using this phrase, He shows us what our response to need should be—action. We are, of course, directed elsewhere to pray for those in need, to point people to Jesus, and to encourage the heartbroken and downtrodden. But here, Jesus says simply: meet the need.
- Who comes to mind when you think of someone who has a need? What do you sense God inviting you to do with respect to that person’s specific need?
- Reflect on your typical response to seeing a person with a tangible need, whether it’s for food, water, clothing, or something else. What hesitations arise in you? What fears? What would you need from God in order to act in response to the needs you see more regularly?
- As you get dressed today, say a prayer for those in the world who have a need that they are unable to meet. To make your prayer more specific, pick a country or location where poverty is prevalent and pray specifically for the children in that place.
Father, thank You for giving me the ability to help others. Open my eyes to the needs around me and give me the faith and courage to meet those needs if I am able. Fill my heart with mercy and compassion so that I stop, really see, and then serve. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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