Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lesser People

Lesser People
March 28, 2016
Matthew 25:40  "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.'"

There are some lesser people that live in my household.  When I say lesser, I mean younger and certainly shorter.  My youngest child is two and when I pick her up in my arms you can clearly see the size difference between the two of us.  In fact, there are many differences between this little one and me.  Not only is she shorter, but she can't hold a job at two and even if she could have a job her marketable wage would be so much less than mine.  Her muscles are age appropriate so she isn't very adept at carrying larger loads than me.  Not only that, but she can't do calculus let alone conjugate all her verbs; she can't even cut up her own meat at dinner time.  She is clearly inferior to me by many measures.  Despite her inferior metrics in comparison to me, when I pick her up in my arms I am declaring her value to the world.  She is so precious to me, of far more worth than any worldly treasure, yet she measures significantly lesser than me on many scales.

While the absurdity of my analogy is quite clear, the point to understand is the difference between lesser in measure yet still of significant value.  There was a crowd of children around Jesus and the people of greater social importance suggested the children should be ushered away.  These children, some of which were probably orphans living on the streets, were considered of lesser value to society.  They offered nothing and only created a burden.  They were oftentimes a nuisance and the lack of social programs at the time did little to provide for them.  If one of these children died, it would have been a burden off society's back.  But Jesus declared their value, however, by suggesting they mattered to the heart of the Lord.  He said that by taking care of a person considered lesser than yourself on any measure was akin to taking care of the Father.  The statement elevated the worth of these particular children, separating value to the heart of God from any earthly measure.  God said they mattered to Him and by taking care of them it would be a blessing to the Father and, in turn, bring honor to you.

But the "least of these" is not relegated to street orphans.  The street orphans were at that time, the lowest of the social classes.  Few street orphans exist in modern cultures so lets examine who the "least of these" are in your life.  Any person who measures less than you on an earthly scale is lesser.  There will always be someone who is less educated than you, less wealthy than you, less attractive than you, and lesser in whatever other measure you'd like to contrive.  And when you discover who  that person is in your life, there will be someone lesser than him.  Jesus wasn't simply saying you only had to take care of the lowest of the low, but that even the lowest of the low is still of the same value to Him as you.  Jesus said you were to take care of everyone, EVEN the lowest of the low who can't offer you anything in return.  If there is nothing for you to gain by taking care of someone, then you have discovered who the lesser person is in the equation, the "least of these."  Everyone is of great value to the Heavenly Father.  If you have value to God than so do I and so does the person who just cut you off in traffic and the even person who causes you stress in the office.

When Jesus elevated the value of the lesser people, He did so with a promise.  The promise is that the Lord is keeping score, tallying up the things you do for those who cannot do anything for you in return.  He was also saying that He was keeping a tally of how poorly you treat those around you, too.  If the Lord is taking notice, keeping track, than it is for a reason.  I have no doubt this will all be calculated in determining your reward in Heaven.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Luke 12:34, Luke 14:10, 1 Cor 15:58, James 2:1-9

No comments: