Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You who are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment but the righteous into eternal life.”
When I read the “Parable of the Sheep and the Goats,” it seems I get something different out of it every time. After seeing a reference to it earlier today, I began to imagine Jesus teaching his disciples and the crowds. I could visualize Jesus sitting where he could see them and gesturing as he spoke, describing the King pointing to the sheep on the right side, and the goats on the left side. Jesus was probably watching the crowd as he spoke, noticing who looked as if they were wondering where he’d gotten that story and who must be represented by sheep and goats. He must have smiled as he praised the “sheep” for caring for the least, and maybe he frowned as he condemned the goats for ignoring them.
Once I researched “the least of these” for a sermon and a class, and though I found several answers, my mental image still saw “the least of these” as I always have. The least of these are the people that Jesus saw as needing their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs met, whom Jesus claimed as his siblings-the very people who Jesus enjoyed ministering to the most. I can still see the sheep looking surprised when Jesus said that when they took care of the least of these, Jesus’ sisters and brothers, they were taking care of Him; and the goats’ shock when Jesus told them they had been ignoring the least, they were ignoring Him, too.
Neither the sheep nor the goats realized the least were Jesus. The sheep just habitually took care of needy people, and the goats routinely ignored them. Don’t we need to be looking for Jesus in the least of these today?
Lord, let us see as you see. Let us minister as you minister. Let it become our nature to care and serve. All to your glory.
Go with God!