Over this week, we will be sharing daily 2-minute articles to help you start and cultivate 7 life-changing habits during this time of lockdown. Read, reflect, pray, act—and challenge a friend to join you in this simple but powerful journey!
Read: Matthew 25:31–46
When did we see you sick . . . and go to visit you? —Matthew 25:39
elievers in Jesus, though a meager minority, enacted a bold witness as the plagues overwhelmed the Roman Empire. According to Rodney Stark in The Rise of Christianity, while the wealthy managed private medical care and fled the city, believers cared for their sick neighbors, nursing them to health or caring for them until death. In the fourth century, Basil of Caesarea continued this practice by organizing the first major hospital, caring for lepers.
From the church’s founding through the Middle Ages and into our current COVID-19 crisis, one of the sure signals of its faithfulness has been sacrificial care for the sick. Likewise, when we ignore those who suffer, we can be certain we’ve abandoned our calling. Scripture warns that at the end of our life when we must give account for our actions, one of the questions we’ll answer is how we cared for those who were ill (Matthew 25:37–39). We even hear a stunning reality: to care for the sick is to care for Jesus. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . you did for me” (v. 40).
While this doesn’t mean we’re to abandon all safety and take risks with our own health, we’re called to be a people of healing. As we move toward those who suffer, we enact the sacrificial life God has given us, and we directly touch and serve Jesus.
Where do you see suffering or sickness? How, with your resources and capacity, might God call you to be a person of healing?
God, there’s suffering everywhere. Help me to serve you by reaching out to . . .