Bible Study

Jesus The Poor Naked Felon

Matthew 25:36-40 NET
“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 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 naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’”

Usually we read this and we see that we should take care of people. That’s right and true. We should. Did you catch who the people are? They are the very people we middle class white folk most want to avoid!

* Strangers (not just unknown people, let’s remember the STRANGE in STRANGER)
* Naked (read this as too poor for clothes or dressed ‘inappropriately’)
* Sick people (he doesn’t list types of illnesses. Just sick.)
* Prisoners (no qualifiers here either! What are you in for? Doesn’t matter)

I was walking by some guys yesterday and my reflex was to either look away or generally avoid them. Then I realized that if I’m going to take the events in Matthew 25 seriously, I need to hold a funeral for that kind of behavior!

I need to be inspired by Mother Theresa, Francis of Assisi, and Jesus Himself and remember what happens to people that reach out to lepers–they often touch the face of God.

What’s really crazy is that NONE of the people at the end of Matthew 25 knew they were serving Jesus. The people that enter the eternal kingdom of awesomeness didn’t know when they cared for Jesus. They cared for these strange naked sick prisoners and found out later it was equal to caring for Jesus Christ, Lord of All.

The people that are doomed to eternal fire didn’t know they were neglecting Jesus. They just neglected the strange naked sick prisoners and found out later to neglect them was to neglect Jesus.

This makes me turn on my radar. Who is within arm’s reach but I don’t want to touch? Who am I avoiding that I need to steer my life into?

Where is Jesus hiding so that my arrogant life can die and His humble loving life can live out of me?

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. (Matthew 25:34 NET)

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