So, my head hurts, I’ve been thinking about The least of these for weeks now, and reading Matthew 25:34-45. Specifically, verse 40 (part of the parable of The Sheep and Goats), Jesus says “The king will reply, truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did to me.”
In the preceding verses, Jesus is saying to the people you fed me, clothed me, gave me a drink, welcomed me a stranger, sick or visited me in prison. Then the people reply, Lord when did we see you, hungry, thirsty, a stranger, needing clothed, sick or in prison, and did not help you?
My head hurts because, Other than my NIV Life Application Study Bible, I have been reading articles by many authors, so many, that I don’t have any article credits to give.
In summary, this is what I concluded. There seems to be a debate-like, among Authors about who the “Brothers and Sisters” are. Some said Jews, some say all Christians, Some said people suffering every where.
The Least of These can be anyone in any oppressed situation such as, the persecuted,repressed, burdened, disadvantaged, underprivileged, victimized, sick, bullied,helpless, ill-treated. These are Christ’s Brothers and Sisters, along with His Believers and Disciples.
I believe the overall significance is not who but what. Serving where service is needed. I believe the parable gives an account of deeds of mercy, things we may be able to engage in every day.
I think our service is not to the poor, so to speak. But to Christ himself.
James 2:24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone (NIV)
James 2:26 As the body without spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead (NIV)