“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
— Matthew 25:40 (NLT)
I met Jesus today. I meet him most days. He is not the exact same person each time as the Scripture says, but what it is about him that’s important is unchanging – yesterday, today, forever (Hebrews 13:8).
You meet him most days, too. We all hardly recognise him. Looking to get on with our lives we miss him, who is right in front of us.
This is not about ‘spending time with Jesus’, but it is very much about seeing Jesus in our midst – in the person right before us – that one who is hungry, thirsty, naked, a prisoner, and the one who is sick.
The actual Jesus I met today was a gentle and very kind soul, which is common for someone who also had deficits. But not all Jesus’s we meet are the same; they all have something going for them that makes them into a Jesus in Jesus’ viewpoint.
They are needy. They need to be served. And those who are so often serving really deserve to be served.
We are all, of a sense, needy, but there are those who are instantly needier than we will ever be.
We don’t have to think too much for examples of such need; the Bible highlights widows, orphans, the sick and lame, the destitute, the one down on his or her luck.
Every time we encounter someone more vulnerable than we are we encounter Jesus.
Whatever we did to him or her we did it to Jesus – if we failed to listen to or cater for their needs. Whatever we did for him or her we did for Jesus – to actually meet their needs in creative and caring ways.
These are the works of our times.
We cannot go back and redo our lives after we’ve passed into the ether. The thought of dying and becoming ethereal is surely the biggest motivation to do what we can do now.
We can be Jesus to the vulnerable person we meet if we are focused on serving those in greatest need. Heaven will not help us if we insist on serving the powerful and privileged. Heaven will only bless us if we seek to serve those who are vulnerable – those we may not want to serve.
Jesus is for the person exuding none of his power. But his power is very real in them.
We don’t expect an encounter with Jesus in an especially broken person, but that’s exactly where we find Jesus; it’s because within this especially broken person is everything that will test and reveal our heart and our faith.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.