Who are "the least of these?"
'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
This verse, or rather the entire passage that the verse is preceded by, is one of many passages in the Bible that helped inspire the formation of the Faith, Hope & Love Foundation. It is our aim to serve “the least of these” in the name of Jesus. So who are “the least of these”? At first glance, this phrase can seem offensive. If I were asking for help, and someone used this phrase to describe me, I might assume they thought less of me, because I was in need. However, a closer look at the passage reveals a completely different idea!
In this passage, Jesus is speaking to his followers as their King. He is saying that anything that they have done for a “least of these” person, they have actually done for him! So who is he talking about? First off, he calls “the least of these”, brothers and sisters. He is humbling himself to be on the same level as the people he is speaking of. He calls them family, and uses terms of great affection. Earlier in the passage Jesus says this to his disciples:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” - Matthew 25:35&36
When his disciples ask him when they did all of that for him, is when he replies with “whatever you did for one of the least of these” - vs. 40.... Jesus is saying that the “least of these” are those who are hungry, who are thirsty, strangers needing a place to be invited into, those who need clothing, the sick, and the imprisoned. So who are the “least of these”? They are those who Jesus loves (aka everybody) who need a little help from a willing neighbor.
My Prayer for You Jesus, I thank you that you humbled yourself, taking on human flesh, to help us with our greatest need. I pray that those who are in need right now would find their provision in you. I ask that you would provide a willing neighbor to help meet their needs. I pray that the hungry would have food, that the thirsty would have water, that the stranger would be invited in, that those who need clothing would be clothed, and that those who are imprisoned would receive mercy and freedom.
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