"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
Pastor Wallace tells us the story of two death-row prisoners. One is a black man jailed for killing a white man. He despises all whites with a passion. The other is a white man imprisoned for killing a black man. He harbors a vehement hatred toward black people.
During his trial, the white man miraculously comes into a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is transformed. Changed forever. When he is placed back in prison, he finds that his cell is now right beside that black man who hates whites.
Every evening, a courtesy cart is wheeled through the prison. Inmates are allowed to choose one item from the cart. The first evening the white man is there, he selects an apple and hands it promptly to the black man. The latter accepts it, takes a huge bite, chews it up, and throws the pulp into the white man's cell.
The next night, the white man offers the black man a pack of chewing gum. The black man puts a piece into his mouth, chews it noisily, then spits it into the white man's cell.
This routine goes on day after day after day. Until, of course, the morning dawns upon the white man's scheduled execution. No family comes forward to claim the body. He is placed in a cheap pine box and buried on the prison grounds.
The only people in attendance at his funeral are the chaplain, two prison trustees, and the black man to whom he had shown kindness.
When the short, yet solemn, service concludes, the chaplain turns to go. The black inmate taps his shoulder. When the chaplain turns around, he sees tears streaming down the black man's cheeks as he points to the grave site.
"That was the only Jesus I ever knew."
We run into people from all walks of life as we commute to our jobs, shop for groceries, go to the gym, or engage in any number of public activities. Any one of these strangers may never have read the Bible not set foot in church. For us as Christians, each encounter with another person is an opportunity to witness to our faith. Are we being polite? Courteous? Kind? Are we lending a helping hand in time of need? Are we radiating the light of Christ? Shining His infinite generosity and goodness toward others?
Think about it . . .
You might be the only Jesus someone ever knows.
Prayer: We pray, Father, that we can shine the light of Jesus into this dark world through what we say and do, and in the kindness we show to others. Remind us as we go through our days that we might be the on Jesus someone will ever know. Amen.