“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:37-40
This translation of these familiar verses from the Gospel of Matthew comes from The Message. This Bible translation intends to provide the words of Scripture in an idiom that is more accessible to everyday speech and understanding. This is a good example. "The least of these" takes on enhanced relevance when we read it as those "overlooked or ignored." Perhaps we could add "forgotten."
Think of all those people who are in need but who are not part of my everyday life. It is all too easy to forget about them. And yet it is these very people that Jesus says are him. Think of a group of people who are despised, forgotten, held of little account. These are exactly the people who are Jesus. These are exactly the people we are called to pay attention to so that they are not forgotten.
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