When did we do these things for Jesus?
Through the waters of baptism, I am where Christ is, Christ is where I am. Faith fuses us together. He is the head, I am the body. We are one, inseparably joined.
This point will be evidenced in a most vivid fashion on the Day of Judgment. For on that day, we will respond quite rightly with the words of Matthew 25:37 and following. We will rightly say, “Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you?” For one thing, we will say that because we didn’t necessarily recognize at the time that by doing those things for the least of men, we were doing them for Jesus (Matthew 25:40).
But you know, we could also ask that question, “When did we do those things…?” because the fact is … those instances might be barely memorable, spread out few and far between during our lives, obscured and far outnumbered by the countless times that we’ve passed by the hungry and left the thirsty one dry. Or maybe our meager “helping hands” moments were tainted with selfish motivations before or self-righteous back patting after. We certainly can’t say that we do those things with any consistency and certainly not with the perfect consistency of pure hearts and hands that God demands. When we look at it from that angle, is it any surprise that we would ask the King, “Really, Jesus … when did we do those things that you mention?”
Yet the apostle Paul reminds us, “your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). I am hidden in Christ. The King and I are inseparably joined. Through faith in him, what he has becomes mine. And that includes his perfection—every perfect thought of his counts for me, every perfect word, every perfect action. He was the one who saw the hungry and fed them, saw the thirsty and gave them something to drink. He was the one who clothed and visited and did all things well. So the great irony (and great blessing!) of these verses is that while Jesus will say on Judgment Day, “You did those things for me.” The truth of the matter is that we will say exactly the same thing to him, “Jesus, YOU did those things for ME. That’s why I can stand confidently in the Judgment, clothed in your perfection. You not only died for me on
Calvary but you lived for me for 33 years before that!”