Suggested further reading: Matthew 25:31-46
Our Lord lays on us the duty of caring for the poor by telling
the Pharisee whom not to invite and whom to invite to his feasts (vv.
12-13). The precept contained in these words must evidently be
interpreted with considerable limitation. Hospitality to our friends
and relatives is not wrong, nor is indiscriminate giving to the poor
correct, as other Scriptures show. But when we have said that, we
must let this parable teach us its truths. The Lord does place upon us
the solemn duty of caring for our poorer brothers, aiding and not
neglecting them in times of need.
There are always needy people around us (Deut. 15:11). A
little help conferred judiciously upon the poor will often add
immensely to their happiness and take away immensely from their worries.
That stinginess that condemns all charity to the poor is not in line with
the mind of our Lord. His references to Judgement Day have
reference to the poor (Matt. 25:42) and the apostolic church had the
same concern (Gal. 2:10).
There is a great importance in looking to the resurrection of
the dead. The poor cannot repay, but there is a resurrection of
repayment (v. 14). There is a resurrection after death. Let this never
be forgotten. The life that we live here in the flesh is not all. The
visible world around us is not the only world with which we have to do.
All is not over when the last breath is drawn and men and women
are carried to their long home in the grave. The trumpet shall one
day sound and the dead shall be raised: those that have done good to
the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the
resurrection of damnation.
Let us strive to live like men who believe in a resurrection and
a life to come and desire to be always ready for another world.
So living, we shall look forward to death with calmness. We shall
feel that there remains some better portion for us beyond the grave.
We shall take patiently all that we bear in this world and wait for all
to be rectified one day. The Judge of all the earth shall do right
(Gen. 18:25). Are you ready for that day?
For meditation: A life lived in the light of eternity is a life with
new priorities and which is distinctive in an earth-bound world.