This morning I read Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt 25). What a challenging passage of Scripture! Certainly we are called to show love and compassion on all our neighbors, but Jesus seems to expect that this will be more true of our Christian brothers and sisters. In other words, we carry an even greater responsibilty for our Christian family. This is evident in the words Jesus uses at the end of his commendation of the sheep. Jesus said, “…as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (v. 40). It is clear that Jesus has in mind acts of kindness shown to our spiritual family – our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Another incredible truth that we shouldn’t pass over in this verse is Jesus’ identifying with his people. In a similar way, Jesus says to Paul (Saul) “why do you persecute me?” Meditate on that for a minute and let that sink deep way down. Jesus identifies with his people. To act in kindness to them is to act in kindness to Jesus. Failing to do so is a failing to be kind to Jesus himself.
There are certainly opportunities to act in kindness to brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering half a world away (for ideas you can visit Voice of the Martyrs). However, wouldn’t it be better to open our eyes and see how we can serve our brothers and sisters in Christ right here. It’s not like there aren’t hurting Christians on the IU campus – Christians going through incredibly difficult times at home, Christians struggling under the pressure of a living with non-Christian roomates, etc. Keep Jesus’ words in mind this week and let’s strive to serve the “the least of these”, our brothers and sisters in Christ.