双语灵修 | 马太福音 25:41-46 看见需要帮助的人

马太福音:25:41-46:看见需要帮助的人

41“王又要向那左边的说:‘你们这被咒诅的人,离开我,进入那为魔鬼和他的使者所预备的永火里去!42因为我饿了,你们不给我吃;渴了,你们不给我喝;43我作客旅,你们不留我住;我赤身露体,你们不给我穿;我病了,我在监里,你们不来看顾我。’44他们也要回答说:‘主啊,我们什么时候见你饿了,或渴了,或作客旅,或赤身露体,或病了,或在监里、不伺候你呢?45王要回答说:‘我实在告诉你们:这些事你们既不作在我这弟兄中一个最小的身上,就是不作在我身上了。46这些人,要往永刑里去;那些义人,要往永生里去。’”

你看见他们了吗?我指的是那些无家可归的人。我们在新闻里听说他们在洛杉矶和旧金山的街道上随意抛洒垃圾和粪便。但是我们真的看见他们了吗?那些失去房子之后住进一辆车里的家庭?诚然,那样的家庭都有其背后的故事。是的,他们很有可能在人生的道路上犯了某些严重的错误,这就是他们无家可归的原因。然而,对于这些自断后路导致最后走投无路的人,我并没有看到耶稣把他们排除在外。

那些住在监狱里的男女囚犯呢?耶稣也没有说他们必须是蒙冤入狱、是清白的(才能获得自己的接纳)。耶稣旁边十字架上的强盗罪有应得,但耶稣对此并不介意,仍然接纳了他。耶稣看到的是一个需要爱、需要进入他国度的人。我非常羡慕新乌尔姆市的圣保罗路德教会,他们成立了一个项目,教会的成员可以为那些刚从县监狱里释放出来的人提供辅导。

我不得不承认耶稣讲的这个比喻给我带来心头之痛。是的,我拜访过病人和监狱里的人。我也曾为那些食不果腹的人送上一两顿饭。但是还有多少人是被我忽略的?除了向人传福音外,我能想象到的最像耶稣会做的事情,就是帮助那些被伤害的人,孤独的人和食不果腹的人。明天你是否会睁开眼睛去寻找这些耶稣摆放在我们面前的人?

祷告:主耶稣,请你原谅我。我有一双眼目,却未曾看见;我有一颗心,却未曾关爱别人;我有一双手,却没能喂饱那些食不果腹的人;我有一张嘴,却未能说出安慰的话。我相信你赦免了我。请帮助我克服我罪性中的自私,使我可以向我周围那些被伤害的人显明你的怜悯。阿们。

Matthew 25:41-46: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Do you see them? The homeless, I mean. We hear in the news that they leave garbage and human waste on the streets of L.A. and San Francisco. But do we really see THEM? How about the family that lost their home and are living in a car?  Surely, there must be a story behind that family. Yes, there is a good chance that they made some terrible mistakes along the way, and that is why they are homeless. Only, I don’t see Jesus making an exception for those who burned their bridges and have nowhere to go as a result. 

How about the man or woman in prison? Jesus doesn’t say they have to be in prison unfairly. It didn’t seem to bother Jesus that the thief on the cross was getting what his deeds deserved, by his own admission. He only saw someone to love and to gather into his kingdom. I admire St. Paul’s Lutheran in New Ulm, which has initiated a program for members to mentor people who are recently released from the county jail.  

I have to admit that this parable that Jesus told gives me heartburn. Yes, I have visited the sick. And people in prison. And I’ve bought a meal or two for people who were hungry. But how many more people have I overlooked? Besides reaching out to people with the gospel, I cannot think of a more Christ-like thing to do than to help the hurting, the lonely, the hungry.  Will you open your eyes tomorrow and look for the people that Jesus set before us today?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, forgive me for eyes that don’t see, for a heart that doesn’t care, for hands that don’t feed, and for a mouth that doesn’t speak words of comfort.  I do believe. Help me to overcome the selfishness of my sinful nature so that I might reflect your mercy to the hurting around me.  Amen.

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