"What You Do to the Least of Us You Do to Me" - Jason Barnette
For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” - Matthew 25:35-46 NLT
This commandment that Jesus was talking about is the trickiest for me. I have been to so many church conferences and read so many books about how to help and how to not enable the poor. How do we draw the line on who we help and who we don’t?
I don’t want to enable anyone either because this would rob them of blessing. Paul gave the key example: he worked wherever he went while he was spreading the gospel. There was a connection there that just took his preaching to a new level—it’s the sweat equity that made the gospel so real for anyone that was with him.
I feel this is what Jesus was talking about when he said “no one is greater than anyone.” We all have to receive the grace from God to be saved. This levels the playing field!
With that in mind, if your business partner was in trouble, would you not give him a hand up? So why not help the homeless neighbor who also needs a hand up? I am not talking about a hand out. What I am talking about is walking with them as an equal, helping them work through their barriers to be whole. We need to keep in mind that we never know when we are entertaining an angel. God has used the craziest people to give me that “aha!” moment. We need to keep an open mind and stay humble so we could grow in the likeness of Jesus.
HOW TO PRAY:
God, today and moving forward, please give me the understanding that we are all equal and need your grace to enter the kingdom. Please give me a discerning heart to know when I am helping and when I am stopping someone’s blessing. Please give me the heart of a servant from the example you gave to us when you washed your disciple’s feet.
About the Author: Jason Barnette is blessed to be in full time ministries with Good Soil Industries at Kingdom Causes Bellflower. He has also been blessed with a rock star wife (Kim) and four wonderful kids (Angel, Joseph, Jossie and Jasmine).