“For I was hungry and you fed me, 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 25:34-36
In this challenging teaching, Jesus speaks of the coming judgement in which he will separate people “like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” Jesus then lists the criteria for this judgement.
Unfortunately for me, it might as well be a list of things I try to avoid. It is rare for me to serve people who are needy or in prison. In fact, as a Flower Mound suburbanite, I rarely even see them.
The scary part of Jesus’ teaching is that he does not qualify it. There is no mention of serving those who are “deserving” or “worthy” of aid. He simply lays down the gauntlet for those who claim to be his followers.
Recently, I had a chance to serve with Filling the Void in downtown Dallas. We passed out meals and spoke to members of the homeless community.
Engaging with people forced me to confront my attitude towards “the least of these.” Their physical poverty made me face my own spiritual poverty. It was as if Jesus was saying to me, “Kyle, your clothes are new and your belly is full, but you need my grace just as much as these homeless people do.”
I challenge you to serve with an organization like Filling the Void. When we serve the least of these, God confronts us with the reality of our spiritual poverty. However, you also may even find yourself being blessed in the process!
The Pastor’s Place features columns written by a different area church leader each month. Call 940-728-8284 for more information.