The Least of These

And the King will answer them, ‘ I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.
Matthew 25:40 HCSB

Our Scripture passage comes from Matthew 25:31-46. It speaks of eternal judgment. In my Bible, the title for this section is The Sheep and the Goats. Many times, Jesus refers to Himself as the great Shepherd and to us as His sheep. In verse 32, He says, “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

Jesus explains this separation will be determined by how we treat others. Jesus told the righteous that they had given Him something to eat when he was hungry, something to drink when he was thirsty, taken Him in when he was a stranger, clothed Him when He was naked, taken care of Him when He was sick and visited Him when He was in prison. The righteous asked Him when they had seen Him hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, or in prison. Jesus responded, “When you did this for the least of these, you did it for Me.”

Sadly, to the unrighteous or the goats, Jesus said they had not helped Him when He was in need and explained the same to them. They had not helped the least of His brothers when they were in need. He told them, he would say to the unrighteous, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Who are the least of these? More and more today, we are seeing “the least of these” in society. We are seeing people who don’t have enough to eat, people who are homeless, people who need help. The question is how do we respond to the least of these?

We are in difficult times. I truly believe the end is near. But we also know that with God a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day (2 Peter 3:8). So near could mean before you finish reading this or it could mean a thousand years from now, only God knows. There is danger involved in reaching out to a stranger, I get it. There are many con artists out there.

How do we serve the least of these or even know who is truly the least of these? Sometimes we don’t. In Hebrews 13:1-2 we are told to let brotherly love continue and not to neglect to show hospitality, for by doing so some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.

It’s God’s job to judge those who take advantage of others. It’s our job to serve God by serving others. We are told in Colossians 3:12 that we to put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against one another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.

As Christians, we are to have compassion for others regardless of their social standing. We are to humble ourselves and be gentle, patient, and accepting. We are also to forgive one another.

We are all human beings; we all make mistakes. It’s God’s job to judge not ours. It’s our job to be kind, compassionate, humble and patient. It’s our job to forgive others as Christ forgives us when we mess up.

Jesus came to earth as a servant to set an example for us. He was homeless (Matthew 8:20). He went from town-to-town teaching and encouraging. He lived a sinless life to set an example for us. Jesus said in Matthew 19:30, “But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

We see this in the parable of Lazarus (the begger) and the rich man in Luke chapter 16.

Pay attention to those in need, you never know, you just might be entertaining an angel. But either way, whether you help the least of these or refuse to help them, it won’t go unnoticed by God.

Have a great day!