“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you. As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
Those are pretty powerful words. Jesus speaking to His disciples about when He comes back in glory, all the angels with Him, before Him, gathered all the nations. And He’s separating people from one another, as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. And the King says to those on His right, His sheep, “Come you who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world because I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty, you gave me drink. I was a stranger, you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison, you came to me.”
We delight in Christ’s identification with us. Because of His love for us, we ask for grace to care for the least of these.
And the sheep are saying, the righteous answering, “When did this happen? When did we feed you? See you thirsty and give you drink? And see you a stranger and welcome you? And see you naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And Jesus says, “As you did it to one of the least of these of my brothers, you did it to me.” There’s so much in this passage.
One, Jesus’ identification with His people. When you serve brothers and sisters in Christ, you are serving Christ Himself. What a powerful picture of Jesus’ identification with His church and what Jesus calls us to do as His church. To love, care for, provide for, lay down our lives for one another. For us to look to brothers and sisters specifically here, that’s the language, who are in Christ, who are in need and to go to them and to serve them, to care for them to provide for them.
So I would just encourage each of us to ask, even as I’m compelled to ask in my own heart, reading this passage, as we pray according to it, God, what does this need to look like in our lives right now? God, we want to have hearts that do this, that love one another like this, that see our brothers and sisters in Christ right around us, and far from us in need. That see hungry brothers and sisters, thirsty brothers and sisters. Those who are strangers, sick in prison. And we go to them and we serve them and care for them. God make us as your people and our churches, a picture of this kind of love for one another. And not just love for another, love for you.
Jesus, we want to love you. We want to serve you. And you were making crystal clear in this passage that when we do this, love, serve, care for, lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are doing this for you. God help us practically to put this into action, make us righteous like this, we pray. God, we want to hear these things said about us by you, Jesus, on that day. So help us we pray. Even as we praise you, we praise you for your identification with us, for your love for us as your church, for ultimately the way you have seen us in need. And you have come to meet our deepest need. And you have promised to provide all of our needs according to your riches. We praise you Jesus and we pray that you would help us to be a reflection of you to one another. In your name, we pray. Amen.