I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. (Matt. 25:43)
Expanded Passage: Matthew 25:41–44
When I was a kid, both of my parents were heavily involved in a prison ministry. They would go into the prison to visit with inmates and teach a Bible study. Then, when some of the prisoners were released, my parents would invite them over to our house to continue cultivating a relationship outside of prison. Growing up, I didn't understand why they were doing this, but I understand now.
Letting someone know they can come back from their mistakes—that they can run to Jesus and be made new—is what we all need to be told at some point. When we disregard the ostracized, we disregard Jesus and what he can do. When we ignore the hurting, we ignore Jesus and how he can help. When we become so focused on ourselves that we don’t see others, we fail to see Jesus. In this passage, Jesus warned those who choose not to reflect his love onto others. Our words have no weight to them if they are not backed by actions. Christ wishes to see no one depart from him, which is why this is critical to believers. Are we looking around at others who are hungry, thirsty, sick, left out, or even laughed at? Since Jesus lives in us, so does the ability to care for his people.
Don’t forget to look beyond yourself.
Rachel Reigard serves the Great Lakes Region of The Wesleyan Church as an ordained minister. She loves walking around Lake Michigan with her husband, Josh, and Corgi, Waffles.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.