“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'” (25:40)
The two stories before this are parables. One about bridesmaids being ready for a wedding, and another about stewardship of someone else’s property. Reading them together helps me frame this passage in a new way.
This life isn’t about us. It’s about our amazing LORD. All about Him. It would be wrong for the focus to be elsewhere.
He tells these two parables on the heels of chapter 24’s explanation about the Day of the Lord; warning against acting as if He’s never coming back. These virgins/bridesmaids needed to be ready, and it was foolish of them to only plan on waiting a short while. These slaves/stewards needed to invest whatever their master left them, and it was foolish to do nothing out of fear of failure.
Jesus left us with some tasks and an expectation of return. Just as the LORD told Abraham he was blessed to bless others, Jesus expects His people to take care of the least of these.
Chapter 26 is the beginning of proof: He is worthy of our obedience. He prayed:
“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (26:39)
When He understood the will of the Father involved a horrific death, He became our example of obedience.
He healed everyone who came to Him and died to remove the sting of death for us. He is our example of caring for the least of these.
Mankind was created for obedience to God through service toward each other. Our commands are to Love the Lord and to love others and they are one and the same. We can’t say we love God, if we don’t demonstrate love for others, as He demonstrates His love for us.
This passage at the end of 25, about separating sheep and goats, makes some people nervous and others hopeful. There’s no separating personal salvation from outward expressions of love toward God and others. The sooner we reconcile the two, the better!
What does this look like for you? How are you loving the least of these?