I Saw Jesus Today
I imagine those are some of the reactions you may have had when you read my headline, but it’s true. Let me explain.
In Scripture (Matthew 25:31-40), Jesus says something profound. He’s talking to a group of people – some who love him and some who hate him. He’s talking about two kinds of people…the people who stop to clothe and feed and care, and the people who are too “busy” or otherwise ignorant to the plight of those in trouble.
He says that those who have cared are going to be invited into the party. Those who didn’t, no party. My paraphrase. This is the 21st century version, ok?
He goes on to say to the first group, basically, “when I was hungry, you fed me. When I was naked, you clothed me. When I alone, you comforted me.”
As the story goes, this group of people who are like “What? When did we feed your or clothe you or comfort you?”
Jesus then says one of the most profound statements in all of history, one that holds incredible significance to me. He says “Whatever you’ve done for the least of these, you’ve done for me.”
Meaning, when they saw someone who was hungry, and then gave them food, they were actually, in some metaphysical supernatural way, feeding the very belly of God. They were mystically giving comfort to the Creator of all things
Really pause for a second to digest this. If this is true, then what does that mean to you and I? Could it really be that when we go get groceries for that old lady down the hall in our apartment who smells like old pee we’re actually buying groceries for Jesus?
When we see the guy at the end of the bar, smoking his cigarette, staring blankly into his beer looking so sad, and we feel compelled to go over and offer him some words of encouragement, are we really, in some strange way bringing comfort and joy to the Author of all the Universe?
On the other hand, Jesus says to the second group “Depart from me…” And they’re like, “When did we see you hungry or naked or thirsty or in need?” And Jesus reminds them of the times when they didn’t pause.
The time when they were too busy updating their Facebook status on their iPhone to stop and hug the sad woman in the grocery store.
The time when they spent half their marriage finding fault and being ruthlessly cold to their partner.
Now, without getting too into it, this is where grace comes into play. We are going to mess up and be mean and fail to help. It’s a given, no matter how hard we try.
Yet the moral of this little tale is to live your life with the attitude. It’s a long-term lifestyle that we can practice each day.
So to that end, and with all these layers in place, let me tell you how I saw Jesus today.
I was at an office building, and I saw a lady getting out of her car. She was in obvious discomfort, hobbling and straining. I’ve seen this woman before, and she’s extremely kind and pleasant, and I’ve noticed that she has some kind of challenge.
So I asked her if she needed help, to which she responded that someone from the office usually comes out to help her in.
At that moment, this blond-haired guy comes running – I mean sprinting – out of the office building with a giant smile on his face, as if this – helping this nice little lady – was the highlight of the day for him.
And I almost started crying.
In that instant, I saw Jesus.
I didn’t know Jesus was blond or that he wore a Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Champions shirt or that he had an American accent.
And I didn’t know that Jesus was a short little African American woman with some kind of muscular disorder who struggled to get out of a car.
Yet there was no denying it was him.
Today, ask yourself the following questions: where is my opportunity to touch the Creator? How do I care for “the least of these?” And when I see these opportunities, will I ignore them? Or will I embrace them?