What Makes the Difference?
Jesus, let me see You in every person I encounter and let me love You through my love to the "least of these."
How does Jesus say we practically serve him?
Over these last three chapters of Matthew, Jesus has put us through the ringer. He has decried religious hypocrites, warned of hardships to come, and talked repeatedly about the dangers of choosing not to follow him. From this moment on, he moves into the final week of his ministry, but not before making one last, major point about God's priorities.
This story about dividing people on Judgment Day, like sheep and goats, may seem simply to be an illustration that God's people get into heaven, and those who reject him do not. However, hear what the King actually says about what separates a "sheep" from a "goat": it's the way they treat "one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine" (40).
Does He mean the poor in general, or specifically Jesus' disciples in need? Why is our treatment of them so important to God? The way we respond to those who have nothing reveals our love for God. When we act selflessly, with no material benefit, we are acting out of love and compassion. In the following chapters, the Son of God will humble himself to the point of death. Following Jesus means embracing that same humility and submission, every day of our lives.
Ask God to draw your attention to some of the needs around you. Make a decision about how to serve the needy.
Lord, let me not find that I have loved You with empty words, but help me love You in truth and with action.