Luke 14:12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
I was reading this passage recently for the purposes of doing a painting and it fascinated me. There’s something beautifully selfless, the idea of doing things for those who can do nothing in return and trusting God for the blessing. It’s particularly fitting in light of what Christ has done for us. He has given us a gift we cannot repay, the best we can do is devote our lives to serving others and I believe that is the invitation Christ has given everyone who calls upon his name. I was having a hard time seeing the image in this passage but it drew my mind to another passage.
Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “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. 35 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, 36 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.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Jesus is telling us that whatever we do to help those in need, we are actually doing for Him. It makes sense if you think about it. Hungry, Thirsty, Stranger, in need, sick and in prison, we were all these things when Christ came to our rescue. For us to be the sheep of our shepherd, we need to follow our shepherd.
Interestingly, Jesus also speaks to those who refuse his invitation to serve. 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
The least of these are all around us and we as Christians have been invited to stand up and meet their need. How will we respond to the invitation? Will we be sheep or goats?
Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
1 Kings 9-10; Proverbs 17
1 Kings 11-12
Ecclesiastes 1-4; Psalm 80
Ecclesiastes 5-8; Psalm 101
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