What if Jesus came to your church today?
Matthew 25:31-46 tells us when we do things for others, we are doing them for Christ. In that spirit, what if a stranger came to your Church, would you treat him like Jesus? What if she comes with less expensive clothes than yourself? What if his speech did not possess the best grammar? What if she was a little smelly?
What would you do?
Would you feel that she is “not being respectful to God” so she should leave? Would you treat him ill to his face, when his back is turned, or have disparaging remarks when he left? Would we be a judge of her by her outward appearance, a poor women in vile raiment (1)?
Two of my stories.
I could give a number of stories but let me give two. Once I was approached by a man in need of twenty dollars. Not having the slightest idea if he was telling me the truth, I wanted to keep him accountable, however in this case I could not. As it turned out, I did not give him the money. Reliving that moment, I think I was wrong. Many ask for money who really don’t need it, I have seen it happen. In this case, I should have just given him the money, I really think he really was telling me the truth. Plus, it was Christ’s command (2). I failed.
Recently a man came to church. He was not dressed fashionably nor with expensive clothing like everyone else. He came with a limp and a hardship story. His vocabulary was not always “kosher”, not bad nor immoral, but not elegant and “correct” by some’s standards. Once he was talking to some of the kids at church. He was preaching the gospel to them. Was he saying every word right? I am not sure, I heard only some of his thoughts. But I do know that he kept their attention and told them that Jesus was the only way.
What if that was Jesus?
What if he came and his speech was not polished nor having the correct terminology? What if….
Did we treat him with respect? Did we disparage him behind his back? Did we shun him? Did we….
Was he sent by God? Was he….
(1) James 2:1-4 “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?”
(2) Matthew 5:42 “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”