Matthew 25: 34-40
“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.’”
Most of us have been taught that these verses apply to anyone in need…but most theologians agree that Jesus was referring to His people = Believers. It does not remove our call as Christians to minister to the needy, but it does emphasize a rather dramatic point: our behavior towards one another in the Family of Faith equates to our behavior towards Jesus Himself. Let that one sink in for a moment…
It’s one thing to walk by a homeless person who may or may not be a Believer, but another thing altogether to show that same indifference to a fellow Christian, in which Christ resides via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Whether the need is material (food, shelter, clothing) or spiritual (encouragement, prayer, accountability) does not matter. Where there is ANY need in the Body of Christ we are to take action to satisfy it. Sitting idly by while another Christian suffers is simply not an option…unless you are comfortable turning your back on Christ Himself.
The next time you mistreat a fellow Believer with harsh words or a judgmental spirit or simple indifference, remember the words of your Lord and Savior: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”