Jesus said, “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
The context of this passage (verses 31-46) is Jesus, sitting on His throne, separating out people into two groups: 1) those who fed the hungry and quenched the thirsty, invited in strangers, clothed the naked, looked after the sick, and visited those in prison and 2) those didn’t. The reward for those in group one is eternal life but not for those in group two.
The interesting thing about this is not about good deeds per se. It is about loving Jesus. He says, “For I was hungry, I was thirsty.” The second group protested, saying “But WHEN did we see you hungry, thirsty, etc). Jesus replies, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Jesus so loves us that He associates our pain and suffering with His own. We don’t simply minister to others because they have needs. But when we minister to others we minister to our Lord.
We realized this when we first started mission trips to post Katrina New Orleans. Confronted with miles and miles of destruction, the overwhelming immensity of the needs was immediately apparent. We had the same revelation working with the local church in Bolivia: so much desperate need and so little resources. But the objective was not simply to help people. The objective was to love those Jesus loves and so show it in practical ways.
Someone said, “Think globally, act locally.” The way I see it we must do both. Who do you know who needs practical encouragement (resources, time, compassion)? Perhaps they aren’t actually hungry or thirsty in the physical sense, but you know they are emotionally. Look at people through Jesus’ eyes and you will see a very different world than the one you have been looking at.
Are you partnering with a reputable nonprofit agency to minister to others in Jesus’ name across the globe? Go Light Your World supports a mission in Bolivia that provides a hot meal, showers, literacy programs, well child clinic, and worship and prayer for about $2 per day per person. And also literacy and self sufficiency education for Gypsy children in Bulgaria. (See Giving link above.) Compassion International and World Vision are two large nonprofits that rescue moms and children from trafficking and cycles of dependency and abuse. Prison Fellowship helps care for children and families of the incarcerated. We have so much to give and so many ways to let our light shine while doing what Jesus said. Don’t wait. Start today. Ask God to show you the world through His eyes.
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” Author, Edward Everett Hale