37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
In this scripture, Jesus tells the righteous, they are looking for him in all the wrong places. They were looking for a king and that’s not where Jesus is to be found. Look for him instead among the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the strangers, the sick and the prisoners. These righteous people to whom he spoke were incredulous.
Today, he might suggest we look for him among the poor, standing up with a bullied child, crying with a reviled immigrant, holding the hands of a person suffering with depression, loneliness or grief. These are certainly not the places where we would expect to find a king, but Jesus was not your usual kind of king. He requires us to minister to these marginalized people in his name, not because we are good people or great humanitarians but because he is our God and we are to obey him.
May we realize that wherever we find him is the right place to be, and whomever we see him with is the person we are to serve in his name. What counts with Jesus is whether we acted with loving care for his people. It’s not an “extra credit thing’, it’s a requirement.
Loving Lord, help us to see the hungry, hurting, suffering people through your eyes. Help us to be your hands to raise them up. Amen.