True Christianity, according to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, includes helping the least of these. As the text reads, we see:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 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.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Simply put, serving those in need is equal to serving Jesus. This is consistent with the Greatest Commandment, loving God and loving others.
There is much theology that could be debated in Matthew 25, but core message is clear–Jesus calls those who follow him to help others. If we can’t do that, we cannot truly claim to be one of his sheep.
UPDATE: Some of you have asked, “How’s the project going? Are you still on pace to finish this year?” My stated goal with this Holy Writ blog is to handwrite all 260 chapters from the text of the NIV New Testament by December 31, 2011. As of today, I have finished the Gospel of John, completing all four of the gospels within 40 days. It was my personal goal, but I had not mentioned it because I really wasn’t sure if it was possible. That said, I’ll likely take a couple of days off before plunging into Acts (the second longest book in the NT based on length).
Along the way, a few of you have shared stories or mentioned the idea of handwriting out portions of the Bible yourself. I highly encourage this and would love to hear your stories. The best way is a note on Facebook or you can email me from the “About” page.
Dillon Burroughs has written, co-written, or edited over 60 books, including the upcoming devotional work Thirst No More (October 2011). He served as an associate editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at DillonBurroughs.org.