08 April 2013

Whatever You Do to the Most of These...

We all know what Jesus said about how we are to treat "the least of these". But what about the people on the other end of the spectrum, "the most of these"? (I'm open to a better phrase!) He didn't directly address that question, but he gave us many clues. I find the best way to see how Jesus wants us to interact with people is to look at how he interacted with people. So... what did he do with these folk?

Mainly, he loved them, the rich and powerful as well as the poor and downtrodden. He treated them all the same. While he reserved most of his harshest words (as recorded in Scripture) for hypocritical religious leaders, he nevertheless hung out with some of these leaders as well. Nicodemus is an obvious example, but there were tax collectors, army officers, and (gasp) Pharisees and Sadducees.

He didn't pursue them to be seen with them or out of any lack on his part. The King of the Universe hardly needed their influence, blessing, or support. He just loved them, ate with them, spoke truth into their lives, and forgave them. Just as he did with the least.

We tend to have one of several reactions to the well off, powerful, and famous.

  • We envy them.
  • We judge them.
  • We hate them.
  • We idolize them.
But we are called to do just what Jesus did-- love, befriend, and serve them. Not for what we can get out of it but because they-- as we, as the poor, as the homeless, the destitute, the prostitute, the addict-- are made in God's image. God created them and saw that they were awesome. Jesus took on human form, lived and died and lived for them. The Holy Spirit longs to live in them.

So when the big deal minister shows up, don't just go to get a blessing. When the rich person shows up, don't scheme how to get in on the money game. When the political, business, military, media, or rock star shows up, don't just look for the photo op or the celebrity proximity effect or the inside scoop. Jesus for them.

You may be the only Jesus they ever see.

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