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The Real “Least of These”

“Then He will answer them, ‘I'm telling you the truth: when you didn't do it for one of the least significant of my brothers and sisters here, you didn't do it for Me.”  Matthew 25:45

Pop culture has often portrayed “the least of these” as people below a certain level of income and hygiene. The popular conception is if you look and smell like a homeless person, you have inherent, unseen virtues that God admires or problems for which God has endless tolerance. This shallow oversimplification of Jesus’ warning veils the real challenge of the Gospel.

The challenge Jesus lays before His disciples in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew is the necessity of genuine faith, marked out by courageous action and declaration before the final vindication and revelation of truth. In other words, now is the time to pick your side. You can't wait until you see who wins.

“Keep awake!” says Jesus, “You don't know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13

The “hour” Jesus referenced was in the present. Jesus the Messiah came to bring Israel to its long-awaited goal. Still, many within Israel were sitting on the sidelines at this climax of history, afraid to choose between Jesus and the Pharisees. Or they were the Pharisees actively opposing Israel’s Messiah. The “least of these” Jesus references are His disciples who get ostracized and shunned with Him.

The men and women who entered the capitol building on Jan 6 did so because they believed that our election had been tampered and they thought congress should acknowledge and correct the injustice. The J6ers are correct. We didn't, and we don't have honest elections, and many know in their hearts that this is true. Still, they will not associate with people who publicly acknowledge this truth for fear of societal and economic repercussions. According to Jesus in Matthew twenty-five, disciples share the risks and rewards of the Messiah.

The real challenge of Jesus is to throw in your lot entirely with Him and His true disciples, come what may. You must have courage and enough faith in Jesus to associate with Him, even when it is dangerous, especially when it is dangerous, which is what shows our true colors. And that is what Jesus is after; real followers, not fans.

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