“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.’” – Matthew 25
For me, yesterday’s post featuring my dad marked a new way of looking at the well-known Matthew 25 passage about the sheep, the goats, “the least of these,” and how we treat Jesus in the everyday.
Another notable response to the scripture was Rebekah’s message, delivered in the context of our ongoing work as a church to minister to people experiencing homelessness.
You can pick up Rebekah’s sermon at the 19:00 mark in this video (click for 9:00 worship), but I recommend listening from 14:00 so you can also hear the really great song pastor John shared with the band. It is the perfect prelude to the message.
Rebekah shared a strong story from a mission trip to Haiti. Our church was exploring opportunities to partner with a local community, helping build both a school and a self-sustaining industry. The trip into the interior was rough, tedious, hot, dusty, exhausting and more.
When Rebekah arrived the local pastor and his wife welcomed her with open arms, shared a feast, gave her bottled water, and generally made the reception feel like a homecoming. “Welcome, Sister Jesus!” they said. “Welcome to our family.”
Sister Jesus. They called her Sister Jesus because – in that moment – she was “the least of these.” And because Rebekah was the least of these then they were quite confident in the fact that they were welcoming Jesus.
The implications of this truth are far-reaching. I already talked about it vis-a-vis my dad in yesterday’s post. But we have the opportunity to welcome Jesus (or to reject Jesus) many times in each day.
Consider the following scenarios as examples:
- The spouse who is tired, out-of-sorts, or carrying a heavy burden and all you have to do is be kind.
- The clerk in the 7-11 who may well be a single mother struggling to make ends meet. How do we treat her?
- The cranky kid on the playground who rudely shoves yours out of the way. Maybe his parents had been fighting that morning? Maybe he is being bullied at school? Maybe he is not well?
- The person trying to get the product that’s out of reach in the grocery aisle.
- The driver trying to merge into traffic when everyone is in a hurry and it is so very busy.
- The person struggling to get their groceries into their car when it’s pouring down rain.
Who are they? The answer is Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus every time. Jesus every one.
I know we can think of a lot more examples in just the next minute. Sister Jesus. Brother Jesus.
Peace, in every way – DEREK