First, we read Leviticus 8 describing the detailed ordination of Aaron and his sons, the men who God chose to serve Him in His holy place. They were elaborately cleansed and clothed so that they might be pure enough to enter into the presence of God and serve Him. And then we read Jesus’s words in Matthew calling “the least of these”—the sick, imprisoned, naked, and thirsty—His brothers and sisters. Wait, what?
The contrast between the qualifications necessary to be in the presence of a holy God in the Old Testament and the position of those who draw near to God in the New Testament is stark. Because of Jesus, the pathway to God was opened and the stance needed to reach Him changed. Instead of requiring a priest to act as an intermediary, God asks that we come to Him with a humbled heart.
As Jesus tells this parable, He challenges us to overlook the physical condition and to help those who are in vulnerable positions. Yet, He also offers comfort. Because as we look at those He chooses to identify with, we realize that they are the forgotten, the rejected, and the impoverished. And He says: I am with you.
Today, embrace the gift that Jesus has given us—the gift to be loved and held by Him. Challenge yourself to see all people as equally able to receive that gift.