"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison?'" Matthew 25:44
It isn't that they had not seen hungry, naked, thirsty, or distressed people. That isn't their point. They argued that they had not seen a hungry, naked, thirsty, distressed Jesus. Had they seen Him, they argue, their response would have been very different. But Jesus will have none of their reasoning. He answers, "If you fail to help those you see in need, you fail to help ME!" He identified Himself with those in need of help.
For us the application is simple. In circumstances of need it's not who cries out but that the cry is uttered.
God has placed into this world enough of everything to satisfy the real needs of all people. Ours is now the joy of doling out the goodness of God in response to the needs of man. This requires that God's people become concerned with "social" questions. We take the word "social" seriously. It comes from a Latin word meaning "friend," "ally," or "associate." Social questions affect our friends, allies, and associates. We can abandon social questions only if we have first abandoned the ones whom these questions touch, and the one who comes to us wrapped in the dirt, thirst, nakedness, and need of man. To fail them is to fail Christ.
PRAYER: O Lord, open our eyes to see, and then open our hands to give as You, in love, gave Your very life for us; for Your sake, Jesus. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)