Jesus Rewards Kindness
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)
Katie walked toward the back of the lunch room to sit with her friend Julie. Katie and Julie were best friends, and they always did everything together. The other kids in their class even called them "The Twins."
As she walked to sit by Julie, Katie saw a girl sitting one at a table near the wall. It was Lucy, the new girl. Lucy was quiet, she smelled a little funny, her clothes looked old and worn-out, and she did not have any friends yet. Katie paused for a moment, but then hurried to her usual table without giving Lucy another glance.
Later that afternoon, Katie's teacher taught a Bible lesson. "Does anyone know who 'the least of these' are?" Mrs. Johnson asked the class. The students shook their heads. "Jesus gives some examples of these people in Matthew chapter 25," she said. "He calls people who are hungry, poor, or lonely 'the least of these' because they're the ones that most people think the least about."
Katie peeked over at Lucy. She was looking down at her desk. Mrs. Johnson continued, "Jesus told the crowds that He would reward those who help these people, and punish those who are too selfish to help. We have many chances to be kind to people everyday," she said, "and Jesus will reward you for your kindness."
The next day at lunch, Katie saw Lucy sitting alone again. Katie slowed down. "Dear Lord," she prayed, "help me to be kind to Lucy and 'the least of these.'" She walked up to Lucy and smiled.
"Hi! I'm Katie. Do you want to eat lunch with my friend Julie and me?"
Lucy smiled back. "I'm Lucy," she said, "and I'd love to eat with you."
She seems so nice, Katie thought. Lucy had seemed so glad about Katie's offer, but Katie felt like she'd gotten more of a blessing out of it than Lucy had. It would be a little strange having a new friend hanging out with "The Twins." But would that be so bad? Katie wondered. Maybe they would just have to be known as "The Triplets" from now on.
In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus describes "the least of these" as the kinds of people we see everyday. He says that when we do kind things to them, it is as though we are doing it to Christ Himself. Jesus promises to bless us if we are kind to His people. We have no excuse for ignoring people who are different. After all, Jesus loved us when we were most unlovable, and Jesus still loves us even though we have nothing unique to offer Him.
Jesus blesses those who help "the least of these."
» Do I know any "least of these" people?
» What can I do to be kind to them today?
» In what ways am I myself a "least of these" person?
» Would Jesus ever ignore me because I was undeserving of His love?
Truth In Real Life
“Resolution one: I will live for God. Resolution two: If no one else does, I still will.”
One of the most influential American preachers in history, Jonathan Edwards was born in Connecticut on October 5, 1703. His father, Timothy Edwards, was a preacher; his mother Esther was a preacher’s daughter. The Edwards family loved to serve God.
Jonathan Edwards was the fifth and only son in his family of eleven children. He loved to study, and wrote his first Gospel tract at age 10. His favorite subject in school was history. When he was 12 years old, he wrote a published essay on the habits of the flying spider. Also, right around that time, he became a student at Yale University! He graduated at the top of his class and spent the next two years studying the Bible and preparing for the ministry.
At age 23, he was ordained to preach and made it his personal rule that he would study the Bible no less than thirteen hours every day. He married Sarah Pierrepont, and God gave them twelve children.
In the 1730s, God worked a wonderful revival in people’s hearts. Edwards continued to preach. Soon, by God’s grace, what came to be known as the first “Great Awakening” was spreading throughout the country.
Jonathan Edwards is especially famous even among unbelievers for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and its ongoing influence over time. The sermon focused on the subjects of hell and God’s judgment; when he preached it, the church people became so convicted they fell into the aisles and wept. Edwards wasn’t sensational or pushy in his sermon delivery. He just preached God’s message from a handwritten manuscript. He was used greatly by God during the Great Awakening. He also wrote over 60,000 pages in his lifetime and led countless souls to genuine faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Jonathan Edwards was devoted to the study of God’s Word and was resolved to live rightly before Him, no matter what. Do you make resolutions and try to honor God with how you spend your time? Are you praying for God to increase your love for and understanding of His Word?
2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.