The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40
I was able to facilitate some tangible help for a family of believers recently. I’m not actually doing the helping, but managed to get the right person to the right place to help these good people out. Once all the plans had been made, one of the family members started thanking me profusely. I tried to tell her that this is just what we are supposed to do and my ability to help them is more like a duty. I accepted the gratitude but then she started to talk about repaying me in the future because nobody had even helped them in the past.
A while later, what she told me rang in my head. This is a family that has been keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days for decades and nobody had helped them before, at least not to this degree and not without wanting something in return. What a travesty.
Unfortunately, it is common thing among the Church of God and Hebrew Roots believers to neglect the “love your neighbor” side of our faith. With our incredible devotion to studying out erroneous doctrines of days gone by, attempts to find the perfect calendar, and mission to purge all uncleanness from our lives, it is easy to put the loving side on the back burner. Well, that’s part of the Torah, too.
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord (YHVH). Leviticus 19:18.
Yes, that’s right. The first time that was said was NOT a mere 2000 years ago by the Messiah. It has been Torah all along. Further evidence is to be found in Isaiah chapter 1:
Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them. Isaiah 1:23
Isaiah chapter one has been misused for nearly two thousand years to say that Yahweh does not care for the observance of the Moedim. But this is not what the chapter is saying. Those in Israel who were still observing the commanded days were doing it with the wrong heart. They were going through the rituals but at the same time they were neglecting widows and orphans and surely all other manner of loving their neighbors. While there have been some incredible injustices perpetrated on the assembly in recent decades, only a handful of people would rise to the level that was written about in Isaiah chapter one.
So the challenge I issue to the reader is this: read Matthew 25: 31-46 and all of Isaiah 1 a few times. These verses should inspire us to look up even more verses that exalt charitable and compassionate behavior. Meditate on this information. Concentrate on it. And act on it. Help out your neighbor. Help people you don’t even know. Be kind to someone who cuts you off in traffic or takes that parking space you had your eye on. Just be nice. Surely we are all already doing these things because we have had our hearts softened by the Spirit, but let’s be a light to those around us. Perhaps they will be drawn to that light.