Jesus Christ described the incredible worth of one.
Studying for a sermon series recently called The Power of One, the repetition in Jesus’ teachings of the word “one” amazed me.
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to ONE of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. – Matthew 10:42
And whoever welcomes ONE such child in my name welcomes me. – Matthew 18:5
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for ONE of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
Studying Christ’s words at face-value, I see that Jesus’ perspective is different than mine. And His perspective is all that ultimately matters.
Our World and Numbers
Our world values numbers. Musicians want their albums to sell millions of copies and thus receive awards. Artists want their works to be sold to numerous people. Authors want their books to include on the cover, “More than 100,000 copies sold!” In the world of church growth, success is often measured by the quantitative amount of people: “nickels and noses.” People at times now even value their worth or impact based on how many social media friends, connections, and “likes” they receive.
Jesus stuns me with his emphasis on one. Reward comes from welcoming one child. Recognition begins with doing a small task for one person in Jesus’ name. Doing low-profile acts of service like visiting a sick person, spending time with a prisoner, feeding or clothing a poor person, or welcoming a stranger rank high on the list of the King of the earth.
If a high-profile Christian invited me to speak or share a testimony at a gathering at The Well arena in downtown Greenville, SC, I would accept it with gusto. Speaking to a crowd of thousands of listeners surely would rank high on my list of important things to do. But how do I perceive visiting an elderly person in the hospital, or helping my child fix his bike, or writing a note to an old friend going through a difficulty? Yet Jesus seems to say that when we embrace the low-profile opportunities to serve one person at a time, He counts those acts like the burrito I like at Senior Garcia’s: mucho grande.
A Love Race
Medical doctor and futurist Richard Swenson writes that Jesus “wasn’t in a speed race: He was in a love race. It is good news that we can return sovereignty back to the Almighty and resume our servant’s role of simply loving the person He places in front of us.”
Ministry to Jesus was the person standing in front of Him. He understood the incredible power of one.
According to the Scriptures, God is honored when one person lives by faith and invests in one person at a time.
When we minister to one person, Jesus credits it to our account.
What if God’s purpose for your life is not to win numerous awards, write a best-seller, or impact thousands of people? What if He created you, gave you lots of wisdom and discernment from spiritual truth and life experiences, and developed talents in you so that you could make a difference in a small group of people?
What if He uses it deeply in the life of one person?
Maybe today Jesus would say to you, If your life touches one lonely grandmother in a nursing home, one single mom in a doctor’s office, or one struggling student in a university, than you have done that unto Me.
According to Jesus, there is an incredible power in one.