Friday, April 11, 2014

The Only Jesus



Matthew 25:40
"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.

6 comments:

  1. A profound post Martha... once I had read somewhere. Someone had asked How do I find someone to do a good deed and help the needy.

    To which the reply was anyone you meet every day needs help in some way or other. You duty is to help them for at that moment they are "needy" . Needy need not mean someone who is poor or something like that.

    Needy is one who needs help in any form, could be emotional, spiritual or mental.

    Excellent post! Loved it. Tugged my heart <3

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Privy!
      You are so right about that word "needy." There are people in need of something everywhere we go. It might be just a smile or a kind word, but there is always something kind we can do for others.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. Amazing post, Martha. I try to be aware that I am representing the King of kings and Lord of lords; my behavior does matter. How am I doing at representing Jesus those who don't know Him?

    Love and blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kim! Yes, we all have to be so aware of what we say and do and act toward others. We are the hands and feet of Jesus!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. Amazing how a bit of kindness changed one mans heart. It made me realize how meanness changes a persons heart as well. It hardens them and closes them off. They quit trusting people with their heart and isolate themselves in the hopes they won't be hurt again. Your posts always speak to me so deeply. I am so glad I found you here on the internet. ♥

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    Replies
    1. Kathy, you are so kind as always.
      Thanks for bringing up the opposite point, that people can choose meanness and end up so lonely and sad. This was a truly remarkable story that our pastor shared with us, and I'm glad I could share it here.
      Love and blessings!

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