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May 9 I Thursday

2 Kings 7-9

John 1:1-28

“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

 

In the last few days before Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples some parables that looked forward to His second coming. In one of these parables, He explained that when the Son of Man comes in glory, He will separate the sheep from the goats based on how we treated one another. He describes, “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 ill and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me” (Matthew 25:35-36).

Jesus notes that the righteous would ask, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You ill or in prison and go to visit You?” (Matthew 25:37-39). He then responds, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me” (Matthew 25:40).

Then Jesus turns to the goats and calls them out for not feeding Him or clothing Him or inviting Him in. Confused, the goats reply, “But Lord, if we had known it was you, we would have given you something to eat or to drink.” Of course they would have! Anyone can do the right thing to the right people to get the right, selfish result. But this is why Jesus emphasized “What you did to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine.” So often in the Kingdom of Heaven, what seems to be the least, in any human measurement that we may apply to a person, is to God of most value.

But who may the least of these be? James tells us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27). The least of these includes those who are needy and cannot help themselves. Because God gives dignity and value to every human being, we ought to show kindness and hospitality to the people that we encounter on a day-to-day basis—whether a friend or a stranger—as a demonstration of our faith, for this is extending that same kindness and hospitality to Jesus. Every human life is valuable to God, so may we be the sheep who serve the least of these as though we are serving the King Himself.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for loving me. Give me eyes to see Jesus in the least of these and let my heart love every person around me with dignity and value.


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