#DailyDevotion Whatever You Do To Jesus’ Pastors That You Do To Him
Matt. 2537“Then the righteous will ask Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give you a drink?…39When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You? 40“And the King will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you did for one of My brothers here, however humble, you did for Me. 41“Then He will say to those at His left, ‘Go away from Me, you cursed ones, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…44“Then they, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t help You?’ 45Then He will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you didn’t do for one of these, however humble, you didn’t do for Me.’ 46Then these will go away to everlasting punishment, but the righteous to everlasting life.”
Oftentimes we read things in Scripture that are descriptive as causative when they are in fact just descriptive. Such is the case in this parable of judgment. We read it and skip the first verses of this parable and go straight to verse thirty-five. They want to make the list of things the sheep and goats did “for one of My brothers” as causative for judgments rather descriptive. Like the previous parable of the talents, where it is not the amount made that is determinative of the judgment but the attitude and belief towards the master that counted, it is not the works themselves towards the brothers that matters but rather why the works were done or not done in the first place.
The brothers of Jesus in this parable are the apostles and everyone who is called into the office of the Holy Ministry i.e. pastors, evangelists and missionaries. True, Jesus does want us to treat everyone well. True, in a wide sense all of Jesus’ disciples are his brothers (but elsewhere in Matthew he would say brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers, i.e. the family of God). But Jesus is not pointing to everyone or ever disciple in this parable, i.e. look to your left and your right. He’s pointing to these (i.e. those he called into the office of the ministry).
Throughout history, while many Christians are indeed imprisoned, abused and killed, the focal point is the pastor (strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter). They more often than not are the targets hoping to get the followers to stop following Jesus. They are hungry, naked, a stranger, thirsty, and imprisoned for the sake of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. How we treat them Jesus says here is how we treat him. Just to make it clearer, the goats to whom Jesus accuses of never doing these acts of mercy cannot be said to never had fed the poor, clothed the naked, visited them in prison or welcomed someone into their home. As Jesus said in John 13, 20“I tell you the truth, if you receive anyone I send, you receive Me, and if you receive Me, you receive Him Who sent Me.” Paul says in Romans 10, 15“How can men preach if they’re not sent?” What you think of Jesus is what you think of those he sent. How you treat them is exactly how you would treat Jesus if he were before. Those who have faith in Jesus will treat his pastors well and those who don’t will abuse them. If you don’t have faith in Jesus you will tormented in a place made to torment angels. So trust in Jesus and don’t go to that place.
Gracious and merciful Father, grant us faith in Christ Jesus so we can see in those you send to us, to give us the good news, his image and likeness that we may treat them as we would so treat you and then receive our LORD Jesus Christ’s commendation at the judgment. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.