“For 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 you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” – Matthew 25:35-36
- All Photos taken this weekend (May 4-5)
This morning’s post comes in response to the scripture Rebekah read for Sunday’s message, and also in response to life.
Here’s my caveat, before we even start: Please do not mistake honesty for disrespect, or accuracy for insensitivity. As I said, I am writing in response to life, and life is not always tidy. But if our faith is going to be anything that counts at all, something that leads to transformation, then it has to be spoken in the same breath as truth.
All this is by way of background to the scripture. I have read and listened to Matthew 25 any number of times, and I wasn’t surprised at how Rebekah presented the words of Jesus today in relation to our ongoing ministry to the homeless. I may even come back to that in tomorrow’s post, especially her powerful “Sister Jesus” story. But what I wasn’t expecting was how God spoke to me regarding my own situation.
Listen to the scripture:
- I need help preparing my food and you give me something to eat,
- I am thirsty and you give me something to drink,
- Sometimes I don’t even know where I am and you invite me in,
- I need help getting dressed and you clothe me,
- I am sick and you look after me,
- I feel trapped, closed in and shut-in – even imprisoned – and you come to visit me.
Sunday morning it was like Jesus was speaking to me, speaking through the Matthew passage, and he was talking about my dad.
This is important because while I have done all of the above in relation to the poor, the hungry, the homeless, people in the hospital and people in prison, my involvement has been occasional and measured. So I have not felt immersed in this scripture.
But yesterday my eyes were opened. My investment of self in relation to my dad touches on everything Jesus mentions. This is real life, every day. When somebody is no longer able to take care of themselves, then – and because of their need – we get to minister to Jesus.
“But Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?” we ask. “When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
“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.’”
Whenever I take care of my dad, then I am taking care of Jesus.
All pictures in this post taken this weekend
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.