In Matthew 25:31-46, Christ says: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who 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 drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, 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 no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, 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.”
In our humanity, we can easily come up with excuses. We say, “But Lord, um, when did we not minister to You?” As Keith Green states in his song The Sheep and The Goats
, “…The only difference between the sheep and the goats, according to this Scripture, is what they did and didn’t do.”
Hospitality does not necessarily mean using china dishes, cleaning the house perfectly, or making an extravagant meal. It also does not simply occur when friends come over to our house for an evening meal. Rather, in Christ’s strength, we can be hospitable anywhere and anytime. The question is not whether or not we swept the kitchen or made a bouquet for the table. Instead, it is: What is attitude of our hearts? Are we willing to reach out to those in need? Are we willing to love “the least of these” unconditionally, without reserve, pouring all out simply for their sakes? Or are we striving to come up with reasons why we cannot minister, reasons why we should just pass by on the other side, and reasons why we are not the ones God should use for the job?
In inviting others into our lives or entering into theirs, we are to have one goal: to point to Jesus. Whether or not we have it “all put together”, God simply desires to use us as His vessels to point others to Himself.
Let us throw off all the distractions and excuses, enter into other’s pain or messy lives, and trust God for the outcome because He can truly make beautiful things out of us!
If you are looking for ways to love “the least of these”, consider being a part of Royal Family Kids Camp this summer. This is wonderful opportunity to be Jesus on display!