When a friend cared for her housebound mother-in-law, she asked her what she longed for the most. Her mother-in-law said, “For my feet to be washed.” My friend admitted, “How I hated that job! Each time she asked me to do it I was resentful, and would ask God to hide my feelings from her.”
But one day her grumbling attitude changed in a flash. As she got out the bowl and towel and knelt at her mother-in-law’s feet, she said, “I looked up, and for a moment I felt like I was washing the feet of Jesus Himself. She was Jesus in disguise!” After that, she felt honored to wash her mother-in-law’s feet.
When I heard this moving account, I thought of Jesus’s story about the end of time that He taught on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. The King welcomes into His kingdom His sons and daughters, saying that when they visited the sick or fed the hungry, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40). We too serve Jesus Himself when we visit those in prison or give clothes to the needy.
Today, might you echo my friend, who now wonders when she meets someone new, “Are you Jesus in disguise?”
Lord Jesus Christ, You can transform the most mundane of tasks. Help me to love others in Your name.
When we serve others, we serve Jesus.
Matthew 25:31–40 is a powerful reminder of Jesus’s care for those who are hurting. In fact, since the “least of these” (v. 40) in Matthew consistently refers to followers of Jesus (see 10:42; 18:6), the passage implies we are likely to find true believers in Jesus in circumstances of great suffering. Those who are not in such suffering are judged on their willingness to serve and join with those who are. When they do, they encounter Jesus Himself (v. 40).
When have you most strongly experienced the presence of Jesus through being with someone who was suffering?