04 Mar The Beggar at the Stoplight – 3/4/21
What if Jesus looked physically different than how we expect? Most of us, when picturing Jesus, think of Him with a Middle Eastern complexion, long brown hair, and white robe – the classic portrayal of Jesus. But what if He didn’t look like that? What if He looked like the beggar at the stoplight, you refused to make eye contact with, on your way to work? What if he looked like the man huddled outside of the grocery store, without proper clothing and shivering; the one you may have dropped your spare change in front of, but didn’t take the time to learn his name. Do you feel convicted? Good. You’re not alone. I’m certainly guilty of dismissing the marginalized. It would be an unrealistic burden to think we can reach every struggling stranger, but does that mean we silence the pull to try to reach the one’s we can? In the parable of the sheep and goats, Christ teaches His disciples of the end age, where He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. From a distance, they look the same. But Christ knows who will stand on His right, and who will stand on His left. The King will say to those on His right, blessed and embarking upon Kingdom inheritance: “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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matt. 25:35-36) Confused, the righteous will question Him. But then He will reply: “Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sister of mine, you did for me.” (v. 40) Are we prepared to stand before Jesus Christ, the epitome of generosity, without giving it our very best shot at presenting everyone in our sphere of influence the love and good news of Him?
Father, we acknowledge that you are the God of opportunity. We praise you for your mercy and your grace. We ask you for forgiveness for the opportunities we didn’t see, or refused to see, and missed. We ask for boldness to capture the opportunities set before us. We love you. We want to honor you. And above all else, we want the name of King Jesus to be glorified. Amen.