Reference text: Matthew 25:31-49
Matthew 25:35-36 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
There is a local Akan proverb which in translation may sound like ‘when a blacksmith hits a spot continuously, it means that spot is of prime importance to him’. In the writing of repetitive text in notes, students like myself often choose to use short hand such as a small tick to indicate that ‘the information above is repeated here’. Not that I was expecting to see that in scripture, but I was fixated on the fact that Jesus literally repeated all of his words with the only one change being the distinction between those who did, and those who did not.
In the verses of today’s Gospel, we see Jesus alternately praising and rebuking particularly in five distinct areas: hunger, thirst, neglect, sickness and imprisonment. These, my dear, are matters of serious concern because underlying these physical needs, are spiritual ones. Hence, we can affix the prefix ‘spiritual’ in front of all the above criteria and have areas that need tactful addressing all around us.
As believers, we are usually quick to create that link between the physical and the spiritual, however, we are not so quick as to address the issues that are’ physical’ as they actually are- We are swift to focus on the spiritual dimension. Too often, we forget that not only are we spiritual beings, but physical ones- hunger, thirst, neglect, sickness and imprisonment are all physical experiences others go through thus it is appropriate that we are also able to address some of these needs when we are able to.
Sweetheart, the word of God is always good and applicable in all situations but let us be rather quick to discern an actual ‘physical need’ from a spiritual one because without that clear line, we will be unable to affect lives as we need to. We need to realise that some people will need more than just our prayers.
Remember # you do not only have to see the ‘spiritual’ side of things because some needs cannot be met that way.