Tuesday, August 23, 2011
You Did It To Me
While in the Old Testament Jesus shows the letter of the law, in the New Testament He gives us the spirit of the law. See Matthew 25. “When you did it to the least of these, you did it to Me.” That’s what Jesus said, but what did he mean? From other things He taught I think we could fill out the lesson this way.
I needed clothes: Certainly provide clothing where none are present. How much better to clothe with forgiveness and tenderness and forgiveness and safety.
I was sick: Provide heath-care when none is available. Also provide hope for those who are sick of poverty and addiction. Provide family for those who are sick of never belonging or fitting in.
I was in prison: Of course we must not forget the horrors that take people down the road to prison. Visiting and corresponding with those who might go twenty years without any contact from “family” is like a breath of life to them. Without that, many will not escape their own prisons of fear and addiction and hate.
Jesus and the Message given in His name is one of justice and mercy for the people living on earth. In the world of our Creator:
Justice is a gift, not a punishment.
Justice is life enhancing, not a threat.
Justice comes by way of grace not retribution.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24 35,36
I was hungry: Food is a good start; certainly give food where none is available. Then move on to belonging for those starving for family. Move on to employment for those who hunger to be useful. Give the opportunity for relaxation and play.
I was thirsty: Water is a good start; certainly give water where none is available. People also thirst for joy and the chance to feel good about themselves. Highlight the wonders of who God made them. Encourage and buildup.
I was a stranger: Take in where shelter is lacking. Don’t forget that most of those who lack shelter have also been a stranger to safety, and gentleness and mercy. Make people acquainted with the important intangibles.