As you did it to the least of these

least-of-these

Jesus gave us two great commandments: Love God and love our neighbors.

Then he proceeded to demonstrate in very practical ways how to obey these inseparable commands. He walked through crowds of the desperate. He touched the hurting, the diseased, the brokenhearted, and the shunned.

He walked into the houses of sinners.

He went out of his way (literally) to find and repair one broken life in Samaria.

His actions matter. They are our example, our model. John says that we are to “walk in the way He walked” (1 John 2:6).
Yet we often struggle to make the connection between Jesus’ service and our own.

Why? John implies that “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life” can blind us from the people in the shadows (1 John 2:16).

When we divert our eyes away from God and focus on anything else, we no longer see the needs in the world that God sees and the result is a focus on self instead. As Paul says, “they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 2:21).

Maybe the best passage in Scripture to point Christ’s followers to the proper attitude of service is Phil. 2:1-11, in which Paul points the Philippians to the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humbled himself to become the perfect servant of an undeserving world who hated him.

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:1-11).

If that doesn’t put it in perspective, I’m not sure what would.

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