24 January 2023
‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 40
Adoption brings relationship to people of widely varying backgrounds and ethnic heritage. It is a joy to see the blending of a new person into a family. The same joy can be ours as Christians as we individually become adopted into the family of God.
Recently, reading this familiar verse has caused me to re-think how I can possibly identify my brothers and sisters in Christ. In this parable, the King in glory says the faithful ones gave food to him, drink to him, clothing to him, looked after him when sick and visited him in jail. Perplexed, the faithful ones ask when did they do all this? But Jesus was speaking of those he called ‘brothers of mine’. Now my prayer has become, ‘Please show me your brothers and sisters to whom I can minister today in your name’. One of the major lessons I am learning is the importance of treating all mankind as if each were a relative of the King. For the relatives of the King may come disguised as a drunk, a mean boss or even as a hurtful spouse. I learned this lesson the hard way.
Late one night a drunk was brought into the emergency department for me to suture. I had seen many similar patients that night and was tired and stressed and so treated him condescendingly. He then revealed with much embarrassment that he was the husband of a nurse colleague. I apologised for my mean spiritedness. At that point I realised that I could never know the relatives of all the people I met. Nor could I know all the relatives of the King.
Let us regard and treat all those whom God brings our way with kindness, dignity and respect.
Read: Matthew 25: 31–46.