THE EXTRA MILE
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory….. All the nations will be gathered
before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats..” (Matthew 25: 31-32)
Once, when Mother Teresa was being interviewed, the reporter asked her: “What is God’s greatest gift to you?” She replied: “The poor people”. “How are they a gift to you?” he asked. “I have an opportunity to be 24 hours a day with Jesus,” she said. How could she and the other nuns in her order carry on such demanding work with the poorest of the poor in the slums of Kolkata? “We try to pray through our work by doing it with Jesus, for Jesus, to Jesus. That helps us put our whole heart and soul into doing it. The dying, the crippled, the mentally ill, the unwanted, the unloved—they are Jesus in disguise”, she said. What a way to see the poor!
One day, history will end and Jesus will judge the nations and all men. What is the basis by which believers are judged? We are already saved by grace through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. But we are saved not just for ourselves, we are redeemed for good works (Eph 2:10). Good works don’t save us, but they do tell the world who Jesus is. We represent His heart on earth. And in this life, it is partial to the poor. “Do not rob the poor because he is poor, for the Lord will plead his cause and plunder the soul that oppresses them” (Prov 22:22). “Blessed is he who considers the poor, the Lord will deliver him in times of trouble” (Psalm 41:1). “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker.. “ (Prov 14:31). Jesus came first for the poor. “The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me for He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted…” (Isaiah 61:1).
We get the picture. Whatever our status in society, we are to seek them. When we neglect the poor, we neglect Jesus. It is easy to worship in a five star hotel and not see them. That’s why each anniversary, we give huge chunks to the poor. It reminds us never to forget them (Gal 2: 10), but more than that, to reach out to them, to touch them and to serve them. To walk that extra mile with Jesus, unto Jesus for Jesus!
2016 YEAR OF STRENGTH
Ps Dr Philip Lyn