Whenever I am trying to find something around my house I often think of the screen shot where the object I am looking forward is sitting on its own, the audience knows it’s there but I have no idea where it could be!
Reference: v.44 “They will also answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'” (NIV Bible)
Explore: In a movie, when there is something the writer wants the audience to know they will give you a shot of the object without the other characters knowing. For example I was watching a crime movie the other day. The criminal had tatoos across his fingers and while the investigators did not know this, the audience was often privy to his hands so we could discern who he was. This also happens if the character in the movie is looking for something. While they are turning the house upside down the camera shoots the object sitting on top of the piano. Whenever I am trying to find something around my house I often think of the screen shot where the object I am looking forward is sitting on its own, the audience knows it’s there but I have no idea where it could be!
Something in this passage about the sheep and the goats jumped out at me this time reading through. When the Son of Man tells the people on his right and his left their fate they both ask, ‘When did we see you hungry and feed you… when did we see you a strager and invite you in… when did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ I’ve often thought of this as in the people seeing the actual face of Jesus. However maybe the difference between the people on the right and those on the left is that those on the right actually SAW.
Application: If I think of people who could possibly give more money or assist more with their time, it’s often because they are so caught up in their own world that they have not SEEN the need. Sure, there are some people who see the need and turn from it, but I wonder whether the majority of people just don’t open their eyes to the needs of others. It’s not that they may not be willing, it’s just that they have covered their eyes with their own situation to notice what it is like for others.
Now, the result of this blindness is the same fate, however I think this lack of sight brings the parable a little closer to home. When someone asks us for something we may be willing to help them out, but do we seek out those who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, sick etc? I think we all need to open our eyes a little more to the pain in the world. It’s not just a matter of saying yes when they knock on the door, but notice someone’s need before they even ask for help.
Prayer: Lord, you see all things. You rejoice when we are rejoicing and your mourn when we mourn. May our eyes be opened so that we can also give of ourselves to those in need. Amen.
Do you think people just don’t see the need, or have they actually said ‘no’ to helping others?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.