He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:45
Listen: Matthew 25
We are all familiar with punishment for doing something wrong. If it’s discovered that you lied on job application, you’ll be fired. Cheat on your income taxes? You’ll be fined and possibly imprisoned. Stay out past your curfew? You’ll be grounded. In all these situations, the criteria for punishment is your actions—what you did. But what if you were judged for the good you didn’t do?
Whether you think it’s fair or not—that’s precisely the standard Jesus uses as he determines the eternal destinies of those gathered before him. Those who didn’t feed the hungry, didn’t provide water for the thirsty, didn’t provide lodging for the stranger, didn’t clothe those in need and didn’t visit the incarcerated are judged. The criteria for eternal punishment was the good they didn’t do.
We can show that we’ve genuinely received the grace and mercy of Jesus by caring for the needy and disadvantaged. These people matter to Jesus, and should matter to us. To say that we love Jesus but have no concern for those close to his heart is a dangerous situation in which to be.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Consider how you would answer the question, “How am I helping the needy and disadvantaged?” If your answer is “I’m not” or “It’s been a long time,” you can start today to show compassion for those in need. We’d love to share ideas on how to do that. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin a conversation.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.