Jesus is clear. There will be a day of judgement. We may prefer to believe it isn’t true but it is.
I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me…I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!
So, are we focused on these things?
- Whether or not we fed the hungry.
- Whether or not we gave the thirsty a drink.
- Whether or not we were willing to receive strangers into our homes.
- Whether or not we clothed the naked.
- Whether or not we took care of the sick.
- Whether or not we visited those in prison.
Need more from Jesus on these things? Here they are, all from the book of Matthew.
Jesus is calling us to a radical life. He is challenging us.
Jesus has a goal for us. We need to heed His warning about how God (not our friends) will judge us.
Jesus is serious.
When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something, lend it to him. (Matthew 5:42).
So when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it, as the hypocrites do in the houses of worship and on the streets. They do it so that people will praise them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. (Matthew 6:2).
You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24).
While Jesus was having a meal in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and other outcasts came and joined Jesus and his disciples at the table. (Matthew 9:10).
Go and find out what is meant by the scripture that says: ‘It is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices.’ I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts. (Matthew 9:13).
You can be sure that whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these my followers because he is my follower, will certainly receive a reward. (Matthew 10:42).
Jesus answered, “Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. How happy are those who have no doubts about me! (Matthew 11:4-6).
The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don’t bear fruit. (Matthew 13:22).
That evening his disciples came to him and said, “It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away and let them go to the villages to buy food for themselves. “They don’t have to leave,” answered Jesus. “You yourselves give them something to eat! (Matthew 14:15-16).
Large crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb, and many other sick people, whom they placed at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they praised the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:30-31).
If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me. (Matthew 19:21).
Which one of the two did what his father wanted? “The older one,” they answered. So Jesus said to them, “I tell you: the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you. (Matthew 21:31).
This was the final challenge that Jesus laid down to the Pharisees. He implores them to reach out to the outcasts and care for those in need.
And with this Jesus ends his long critique of Jewish religious practice in his time. He has said all he has to say, done all that he could do, and demonstrated in every way possible that they need reform. He has laid it all down and now he is leaving it up to God.