“The King 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.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink . . .’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me’.  (Matt 25:40-45)

 

These words of Jesus go far beyond an admonition to help the less fortunate. They reveal the depth of connection Jesus has with us: what happens to us happens to Him. For me, it’s a sharp pointer to the ways I can view others in need. Do I see them as objects of my benevolence, or as opportunities to minister directly to Christ  — to ease the distress He feels at their distress, to love Him by loving them?

Most of the help I give in these situations seems to come from writing a cheque. While helpful, this is far from a direct encounter with a struggling brother or sister in Christ. Jesus’ words lead me to ask myself: if I knew Jesus was in need, would I be content with just sending Him a cheque?

True, sometimes it’s my only option when those being helped are personally unknown to me or at a great distance. I can’t necessarily make a direct connection with everyone in need. But while I’m writing cheques, I can also check to see if God is prompting me to make a greater connection with someone I do know — or could know — whose need isn’t necessarily financial. Has God put someone on my heart who’s in need of compassion, an encouraging word, an indication of care? Each one is vitally important to Jesus; if I love Him, can they be less to me?

Lord, help me to check my vision — how I see each person I meet. May no one who is in You be a stranger to me, but an blessed opportunity to make a divine connection with, through, and for You.