If you knew you were going to die at the end of the week and had one day left to speak to your people, what would you say?
On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus went back to the temple and began to talk. He told stories that described kingdom living, one right after another. The crowds listened, asked questions, tried to track with what He said. But then, as so often happens, the know-it-alls decided to take over. They wanted to expose Jesus as a liar worthy of death. When they failed, the holier-than-thou’s decided to try as well, for in discrediting Jesus these two competing groups were united. The crowd watched all this too. When both groups failed to trip Jesus up, Jesus turned to the disciples and went back to telling them what they would need to know when He was gone. “Follow God only–don’t let those pretending to know me distract you. Stay with Me. You’re going to see trouble on a scale you haven’t seen before. The world will tremble and everything will come to nothing except Me and what I’ve told you. I’m coming back! So, look out for each other and for Me until I return.”
“How will we do that? How will we look after You when You’re gone?!” The disciples were confused.
So, Jesus made it very practical for them. “Feed the hungry. Give water to the thirsty. Share your space with the homeless. Give a coat to those shivering who have no warm clothing. Nurse the sick. Visit those in prison. That’s how you watch out for Me. By leaving your comfortable and safe place where you have everything you need, in order to look out for those who are not in as good a shape as you. Love others as you love yourself. And love Me most of all.”
“Remember. I’m coming back. You don’t know when. But I’m coming. And when I do, I will make everything right.”
ACTION: What would you say if it was your last time to address your people? In these COVID-19 sheltering days, how will you know if others might have a need? What will you give of yourself to meet the needs you can?