Jesus Is Right Behind You
January 12 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17
Jesus Is Right Behind You
Whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . you did for me.
READ MATTHEW 25:37–40
My daughter was ready for school a little earlier than usual, so she asked if we could stop by the coffee shop on our way. I agreed. As we approached the drive-thru lane, I said, “Do you feel like spreading some joy this morning?” She said, “Sure.”
We placed our order, then pulled up to the window where the barista told us what we owed. I said, “We’d like to pay for the young woman’s order behind us too.” My daughter had a huge smile on her face.
In the grand scheme of things, a cup of coffee may not seem like a big deal. Or is it? I wonder, could this be one way we carry out Jesus’s desire for us to care for those He called “the least of these”? (Matthew 25:40). Here’s a thought: How about simply considering the person behind us or next in line a worthy candidate? And then do “whatever”—maybe it’s a cup of coffee, maybe it’s something more, maybe something less. But when Jesus said “whatever you did” (v. 40) that gives us a great deal of freedom in serving Him while serving others.
As we drove away we caught the faces of the young woman behind us and the barista as she handed over the coffee. They were both grinning from ear to ear.
By John Blasé
REFLECT & PRAY
We serve Christ when we serve people.
Lord, help me not to overthink serving others. Sometimes the small, simple things mean more than I’ll ever know. And help me to remember that whatever I do for others, I’m doing for You.
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Matthew’s gospel presents Jesus’s surprising vision of the kingdom of God. From His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to His teaching on the sheep and the goats (25:31-33), Jesus turned the religious thinking of His day upside down and inside out. Instead of condemning sinners and praising those known for defending the law of Moses, He left the impression that judgment day would bring some of the biggest surprises of all (25:45-46). Then, in a stunning turn of events beginning with chapter 26, the unthinkable happens: Jesus allows Himself to be judged, condemned, and crucified.
By His resurrection He shows that what He’s been saying all along is true. The kingdom of God is found in a different kind of King. His citizens are a different kind of people, whose joy and goodness are found in hearts changed by His Spirit and love. Mart DeHaan
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