Thursday in the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 25:31-46

The Least of These My Brothers

“The least of these my brothers.”  This is a saying of Jesus that sticks in my mind.  It is a well-worded phrase to describe the people that Jesus most closely identifies with: “The least of these my brothers.”

We begin this passage reading, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory … he will sit on his glorious throne.”  At that time he will separate the sheep from the goats, the righteous from the wicked.  Many think that the Father will be judge on the last day, but Jesus said, “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22, 27).  And here we see that Jesus himself is doing the separating.  It is just, is it not?  Who better to judge us than the one who became one of us?  Who better to justly condemn the wicked than the one who was unjustly condemned by the wicked?  And who else would those purchased by the blood of this judge want for another judge?  Christ is judge because he is the Word who became flesh, sent from the Father (John 1:14).

We note that judgment is based upon the compassion shown, or not shown, to those who needed it.  This should not surprise us.  Matthew 16:27 tells us that when Jesus returns, “He will repay each person according to what he has done.”  Granted, the righteous are not saved by their works, but their works do prove their salvation.  And such proof is the compassionate service rendered to the poor and needy, the down and out.  And by this, Jesus does not mean tossing a dollar at them, even if it be a lot of them.  Money is the easiest thing to give.  Time, tears, and painstaking patience are most often required.   These people sometimes smell.  They also make poor decisions, and are lying in the bed they made.  We could tell them exactly how they arrived at the place they are in, and could also tell them how to get out of it.  I’m not saying that such words are not required; sometimes they are.  But that does not seem to be the way our Lord usually approached people.  Jesus spoke with them, touched them, and entered into their suffering.  And when he spoke, it was generally with words of mercy.  How many times has the Lord sighed again and again over my foolishness?

And most of all, we are to minister to these people because in doing so, we minister to Christ himself.  Christ is there in that hurting face.  “The least of these my brothers,” he called them.  If your church doesn’t have some of these in attendance, I dare say that your church isn’t doing it right; that is, don’t just go out to them; bring them in (Isaiah 58:6-12).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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