Read Matthew 25:31-46
Some thoughts from NT Wright:Read more
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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.’” (Matt. 25:37-40, NIV) Read more
34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who will receive good things from my Father. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world began. 35 I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36 I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’ (Matt. 25:34-36, CEB)
A couple of things stand out about Matthew 25 for me.
1. This is yet another passage for me that keeps me from being a universalist. There are people being assigned to… how shall we say it… “other places.”
2. More importantly, it is the sobering realization that I have work to do for my King. And that work has to do with the least of these. It is about the margins of society.
As I move through Holy Week, I am challenged with this thought: Am I about the business of my King?
Tackling the parable of the sheep and the goats hasn’t been easy. I still don’t have this one working very well in my mind. Yet, when I think of this passage with “the least of these” being Jesus’ disciples (the Sent Ones), I reflect on those who have gone before. I think of those who have laid down their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ and one day those who put them to death will stand before the King of Kings and given an accounting for what they did to “the least of these.”
For Graham Staines and his two little boys, martyred in India in 1999. For Mehdi Dibaj and Bishop Haik, martyred in Iran in the early 1990s, I want to honor their memory. I want to reflect on what it means to live all out for my King, even in the midst of the comfort of America.