Unto the least of these
In Matthew 25:34-36, it says:
“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.’
It’s easy to focus on the acts of service mentioned by Jesus in this passage. But the first part of the verse is what really jumps out at me.
“Take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you.”
Did you catch that?
Jesus makes it clear that charity to the poor isn’t just a nice gesture. And it is not simply a good deed that earns us points with Father God.
Jesus says that our heavenly rewards are directly tied to the way we treat the hungry, thirsty, lonely, and sick. And not just our rewards, but our INHERITANCE as Christians.
This passage deeply moves me. We get a glimpse into the inner heart of God with these verses. Nowhere else in scripture do we see something so small (how we treat the less-significant people in society) tied to something so great (the kingdom prepared for us since the beginning of the world).
I believe that this is not merely a metaphor. Jesus is literally telling us about heaven’s priorities. When a kingdom mindset is in place, how we act towards the less fortunate is the same as how we act towards God the Father. He cares about it so much that he ties the keys to our heavenly inheritance to it!
It’s important to God. Which is why it must be important to us.
I am challenged by these passages, and I want to extend that challenge to our entire fellowship. How is the heart of the Father being expressed in our actions as ministers? As leaders? As shepherds in our churches and organizations?
I will have much more to say on this in the coming days. I am excited for us to grow as a fellowship in seeking out those in need and getting their needs met. In the meantime, what are the ways you are actively pursuing “the least of these” in your ministry? How are you fulfilling our mandate to care for the ones who are closest to the heart of Jesus?
I look forward to hearing from you soon.