It is not as important that they see Christ in us as it is that we see Christ in them.
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The king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
- Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)
I am privileged to work as a volunteer in a nonprofit health clinic. I assist in the pharmacy and do "in-take," a fancy term for interviewing patients, assessing their needs, and determining a proper response to their situation. We see many people who are down and out physically, emotionally, and financially. We are often their last resort for finding medical help.
My heart goes out to them as we try to meet their needs with our limited resources. As I listen to their stories and look into their eyes, I try to ask myself what response will give them healing, hope, and comfort. I have come to realize it's not as important that they see Christ in us as it is that we see Christ in them. They are God's children and our brothers and sisters. We are blessed to be able to serve them as Jesus did when he walked this earth. He said, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20).
Matthew 25:31-46 (NRSV)
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that 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 something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me 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 nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just 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."