Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.” John 12:44-50 (NRSV)
Thinking of this week’s sermon verses-
(Jesus said): “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29 (NRSV)
How can we as believers be as “little Christs” to the weary?
Judging others is easy. We do it all the time. We make mental commentary on others’ physical sizes, hygiene, clothing choices, lifestyle choices, and everything else pertaining to other people. Even if we think we don’t do this, we do. Passing snap judgments is part of human nature that isn’t one of our more attractive qualities. It might make us feel better for a minute to think, “at least I am not like so and so,” but in truth we are just as fallen and just as in need of Jesus our Savior as anyone else is.
It is more difficult and challenging to think of ourselves not as commentators or judges, but as fountains of rest. How can we be that person who offers a drink of water to a parched soul? How can we bring a “little salvation” to a person in need? Sometimes just a kind word, or holding a door open, or fronting someone some change who came up a few cents short at the register is all it takes to reveal the heart of Jesus to a person who desperately needs a little rest. The Holy Spirit works in and through the words and actions of believers. We may not see the end results of how our actions impact others, but we know that God can use our actions for His good.
Jesus came to offer hope, light and love to the world. His calling to us is to follow His example and do the same.
Do people look at us and see the face of Jesus? Do they find His rest in our actions of charity and mercy?