It has always been my desire to “do unto others as I would have them do unto me.” I firmly believe that how I treat others, especially, “the least of these” will be a determinate of how I am treated. The Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, speaks more on helping the fatherless, the poor and the widows (the sick, the homeless) than many others. Indeed, one of the most profound passages in the New Testament is the one in Matthew 25:31-46.
This parable is set after the tribulation at the beginning of the millennium when Jesus returns as King. Everyone is brought before the Jesus, the Shepherd. They are labored either sheep or goats. The sheep are placed on the Lord’s right and the goats are placed on his left.
The sheep on the right are blessed and given an inheritance, Jesus noted that, “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 sick and looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. The sheep then ask the King when did they do these things for him? Then the King (Jesus) will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (25:35-40)
Now the goats, placed on the left, are sentenced to everlasting hell, prepared for the devil and his fallen angels. They had also had an opportunity to minister to the Lord, but he declared to them, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. The goats will ask when did they do these things to him? The King will reply to him, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these (the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned) you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (25: 41-46)
If we truly belong to the kingdom of God—if we are truly saved, we will demonstrate through our service and kindness to others.
In this season in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us do as Jesus would do. Let us say a prayer for others; lend a helping hand; provide a word of encouragement or provide clothing or a meal to make life easier for “the least of these.”
Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!