How interesting that Jesus associates our response to “the least of these” with our response to him.
In the past, I always thought it was a matter of obedience. People who really love Jesus take care of the down-and-outs, because it’s the right thing to do. The Christian thing to do. Because the Bible tells us to do it.
But what if it’s more than that? What if it’s another “camel fitting through the eye of a needle” thing?
What if it’s all about our heart, after all?
What does our response to “the least of these” tell us about the state of our heart, and whether it’s fertile soil for what Jesus wants to sow there?
Are we prideful? When we think of people in prison, are we unforgiving and vengeful? Do we think we’ve earned the good things we enjoy, but believe the less fortunate are “leeching off society,” and don’t deserve our assistance?
Are we fearful? Do we avert our eyes from the homeless person on the street, or the emotionally-needy person in our church, to avoid uncomfortable interactions?
Are we self-absorbed? If we’re “too busy” to visit our grandma in the hospital, to go and sit with the sick and the shut-ins, how are we going to find the time to sit at Jesus’ feet?
Are we selfish? Are we hoarding our resources for personal comfort, character be damned?
What sort of heart is open to the least of these? And how do I develop one?
Because that is the sort of heart that is open to Jesus.