Matthew 25; 31-46; Numbers 32-34; Job 2
I had a teacher get mad at me once. She didn’t talk to me for the longest time. As I observed her and heard other teachers and students talk about her, though, I began to realize what a great teacher she was. She not only did her job in the classroom, she went above and beyond to help students who needed extra help. I don’t know if she realized what a great teacher she really was – usually the best don’t realize what an impact they have or at least they don’t brag about it. Jesus described His followers in a similar way. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’” (Matthew 25:37-39) Those who follow Jesus should develop such a lifestyle of ministry that we don’t even realize that we are ministering to others. It’s just what they did. Notice the reaction when getting rewarded: “what do you mean? We haven’t done anything special.” (Obviously paraphrased) And that’s part of the point. Their changed lives caused them to do what God wanted not as a sacrifice or as a burden, but as a natural outflow of their faith. Those who were rejected would have cared for Jesus if they had seen Him – but they didn’t recognize that the love of Jesus compels us to minister to people in need as a natural part of life. It’s easy to brush off those who are needy while we search for a good way to minister. We need to learn the lesson of this story and realize that God calls us to minister to those in need as if we were ministering to God Himself.
Dear Lord, open my eyes to the needs around me. It’s so easy to get caught up in thoughts of doing things for You that I miss the opportunities to care for others that You would care for. Remind me that I am not to put on a show for You, but that I am to remember what You showed us to do on earth.