Ministering to the hurting world – Part 1
Text: Matthew 25:35-39
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 was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me [with help and ministering care]; I was in prison, and you came to Me [ignoring personal danger].’ 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 And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it for Me.
Our society is filled with people that are hurt because of the present social and economy challenges that have permeated our land. How can the believers minister to the weak at refugee centres, less privileged, distressed and injured people around them? How can we attend to their plight in the midst of scarcity? If one considers the beginning of the presentation of Jesus, it was obvious that Jesus set the criteria to judge His people in the area of caring for those around us. This passage reveals the set standard for running the indispensability of ministering to a hurting society. The job is not only for the rich or the politicians because majority of them are doing it for personal gain, especially as a means for electioneering campaign. Criteria set by Jesus are:
• Feeding the hungry (vv35-36; 42:43). It is primary duty of every believer in Christ to minister to those who are deprived of physical and spiritual food. The Church’s mission is to feed the hungry and lead them to the bread of life. (John 6: 35). Hunger is in our land today, and believers are called to empty their storehouses and feed the needy around them. This is the ministry that touches the heart of God. The only way to show love is to feed the hungry.
• Quenching the thirst of the thirsty (vv35b, 42b). Many people have been taken hostage, while some are in refugee camps across the nation. Some churches are busy celebrating the risen Lord every Sunday without giving a drop of water into the bucket of these distressed people. Some have walked in the wilderness of life, thirsty for the Word of God and water of life.
Jesus meets the woman at the well and satisfied her thirst with the Word of God and fed over five thousand with food and water during a single meeting. Our social programmes in the church should be strengthening to meet the need and challenge of the day.
As you go out this week, beloved in the Lord, if you can’t do many, just observe one of the two itemised needs in people’s life in your community and among our parishioners.
Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Ojo, Christ the Rock Baptist Church, Mende, Maryland, Lagos (The Glorious Church)
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