Our scripture this week is Matthew 25:31-46, taken today from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 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.’ 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?’ 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.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The call Jesus places on our lives is not to serve Him directly, but by loving and serving each other show our love and obedience to Him. Jesus needs nothing from us but we have been given much to share with our brothers and sisters. This is the lesson Jesus teaches here.
In this passage we are told that those who ignore the needs of others will be ignored at the last judgement. We will be treated as we have treated those who needed our help. We are meant to care and connect with each other as He did.
In this scripture we learn that following Jesus means being like Him, sharing God’s love and the gifts we have been given for everyone’s good. We may not be able to meet every need we encounter but we can pray for a solution and help find resources we may not have ourselves. This is loving your neighbor as yourself in action.
Gracious God, we have been gifted and given the knowledge to share Your love and blessings with everyone. Help us to be alert to the needs around us, physical and spiritual, that we might love others as You first loved us. Amen.