“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, 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.’
“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.’
Jesus was a master storyteller! He used stories to effectively convey all kinds of truths about the kingdom of God. The disciples had a front row seat to each story. Leaning in to all Jesus had to say , they would learn how the people of God should respond to their world and their God.
Today’s verses are a portion of a story, or parable, that Jesus told about end times. Jesus describes how God will bring attention to the way we treat people during our lives on earth. He teaches the importance of meeting the needs of others – the sick, the hungry, the poor, and the lonely or dismissed. Many times in his ministry, Jesus teaches about how we view ourselves and how we view others. Each time his message is clear – looking down on others is a dangerous place to be and loving and caring for those in need – those who are often overlooked – is always the way God would have us respond.
The disciples would take this message to heart and carried this message with them. The early church would be known for the way they cared for the needs of others. Jesus’ words helped to grow a love for others in his followers that would take them places and allow people to hear the love of God…because they felt it first.