Sunday, September 4, 2022

What About The Least Of These?

 By: Paula Short



So, my head hurts; I've been thinking about The least of these for weeks now and reading Matthew 25:34-45. Specifically, in verse 40. Jesus says, "The King will reply, truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did to me."


I've read this verse many times, but why was it touching me and pulling me to dig deeper this time? I thought to myself.


So I did; let's have a look


In the preceding verses, Jesus is saying to the people you fed me, clothed me, gave me a drink, welcomed me a stranger, sick or visited me in prison. Then the people reply, Lord, when did we see you, hungry, thirsty, a stranger, needing clothed, sick or in prison, and did not help you?


This is what I concluded. There seems to be a debate-like among Authors about who the "Brothers and Sisters" are. Some said Jews, some say all Christians, and Some said people suffering everywhere.   


And


The Least of These can be anyone in any oppressed situation, such as the persecuted, repressed, burdened, disadvantaged, underprivileged, victimized, sick, bullied, helpless, or ill-treated. These are Christ's Brothers and Sisters, along with His Believers and Disciples. It's also us at one time or another.


I believe the overall significance is not who but whatServing where service is needed. I think the parable gives an account of deeds of mercy, things we may be able to engage in every day. 


Let's look at some ideas we can try


— Be kind on purpose

— Be empathetic

— Volunteer or donate (food, clothing, etc.)

— Be a good listener

— Keep it private (everybody doesn't need to know you are helping someone. especially if the person asking for help is ashamed or feeling anxious to ask)

— Be an advocate

— Talk to a stranger

— Unplug (be totally present)

— Visit or call to check on a neighbor or sick friend

— Forgive, and don't forget to forgive yourself too

— Build bridges of love to someone who is burdened or outcast



I think our service is not to the poor, so to speak. But to Christ himself.


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8— NIV


Reflection


Can you think of other ideas to show mercy to others?

Can you remember a time when someone showed you mercy?




3 comments:

  1. Paula, good thoughts here. I think of that passage in Mark 3:33, where Mary and Christ's [earthly] brethren sought Him while he was speaking, and some said to Him "your Mother and brethren seek you", and He motioned to the crowd gathered and said "Who is my mother and my brethren?" and then "Behold, my mother and brethren" waving His hand over the crowd.
    I believe you are right, it is everyone, for Christ died for all, and loves all. Your suggestions on how to care for the least of these is fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great list of ideas, Paula! Sharing on Twitter.

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