“The king will answer them, 'I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant, you did for me' Matthew 25:40.
When Jesus began His ministry he was only 30 years old. It is tempting to see Him as this larger-than-life entity, being as He was the very nature of God. But He descended from Heaven as man and chose to set aside His powers. He only performed works with the power on which He called down from God. He didn’t come to exhort you and me to be God, for we fall short every moment. He came to show us how to be the hands and feet of the God who works wonders, who brings comfort to the hurting. ‘As Jesus walked in the region of Galilee, people were unaware of the staggering reality that the Son of God Himself was talking to them face to face’ (Experiencing God, p. 28.)
Jesus repeatedly spoke of engaging in the activity of God, which was His work. As He went about His day, whomever God placed in His path was attended to through the power of God. Jesus surrounded Himself with the sinners, the sick and the weak. They recognized Him because of the power accessed through Him for their healing.
So the question this morning is, are we any better at recognizing Jesus today than the people of ancient times? If what we do for Christ is determined by what we do for others, then how are doing? Do others recognize Jesus in how we approach them...how we offer ourselves in their time of need?
I sometimes fall into the mental trap of questioning the significance of my activities. In asking God this morning for reassurance that every little work is important in the kingdom, He lifted Matthew 25:40 to my heart and mind. It reminded me of His exchange with Paul on the road to Damascus, ‘Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples…‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ Acts 9:1-4. Saul hadn't even met Jesus but it didn’t matter, for he had been involved with the persecution of people Christ loved. What he did to others was counted as what he did to God.
Things are no different today as we are met daily with the needs of others. God places people in our path who are in need of a Savior. If we only surround ourselves with our equals and our own circle of friends, to what gain is it for the kingdom? When we see ourselves as too important to really see people instead of seeing through them, we have failed to recognize Jesus. Jesus is the woman who is at the entrance of your store collecting money for recovering addicts. Jesus is the man with dirty hands approaching you in the parking lot for a quarter. Jesus is the man or woman on the outside of your home waiting for you to respond to the activity of God. When God called Jesus to help the poor and the needy, Jesus never considered the person’s honesty. He allowed God to provide opportunities for His work to be done, and trusted God to handle the heart of the recipient.
Whatever you do and whatever you say to whom you come in contact, remember that there is a very good chance you are coming in contact with Jesus. Bless one person and you have blessed Christ.
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