During the last week of Jesus’ life, Matthew records the teaching of the parable of the sheep and the goats. Take a look at Jesus’ words:
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” . . . “He will reply, ‘whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” (Matthew 25: 40, 45 NIV)
As we scan the globe, the needs overwhelm us: Africa, Haiti, tsunami victims, child trafficking, hunger, poverty, and sickness. Can one person really make a difference in the flood of human depravity and need?
The King says, “Yes.” Not only yes, but He counts such service as rendered to Him. Conversely, He reckons the lack of it as a personal neglect. Yikes. God appears to take our treatment of our brother (or lack of it) seriously. Maybe we should too.
So, who is your “least of these”?
As I began to pray about my “least,” God’s answer surprised me. He placed His hands on my shoulders and turned me, not towards Africa or Asia, but to my neighbors and my family. While we still send checks across the globe, God has called us to active service here.
Honestly–sending the check is easier.
Sometimes tears for the starving child in India come more easily than for the relative who has repeatedly hurt my feelings. Ouch. It appears I lean towards the goat side of things.
Lamb of God, make my heart like yours.
As we prepare for Easter this month, will you join me in asking God, “Who is my “least”?
In the story of the sheep and the goats, what are some things Jesus lists that were done (or were neglected)?
Why does Jesus count the service (or lack of it) as done unto Him?
How does this story tie to the two greatest commandments: to love God and love your neighbor as yourself?
Do believers have a responsibility to address the needs of the world? Why?
Pray about your “least.’ Share your answers as a family.