Jesus said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40). The Lord taught that our attitude in helping the needy is to be one of gladly giving or ministering to Him. We have found that even performing unpleasant kindnesses as to the Lord, Himself, makes any act sweet. Another translation of our text says, "Kindness shown to the poor is an act of worship," and we have many opportunities to worship our Lord in this manner.
Remember Abraham of old, who took in three wandering strangers? He did not give them a crust of bread at the door; he killed a calf and prepared a feast for them under the tree. Only after Abraham had honored these strangers so, did it become clear to him that two of his guests were angels, and that the other was the Lord (Genesis 18:1-16)!
The Samaritan woman at the well may have missed a great blessing that day when Jesus said unto her "Give me to drink" (John 4:7). It appears that she didn't grant His request, for no effort to respond on her part is mentioned, but soon she was asking for His "living water" (v.10). Christ, even though thirsty and "wearied" (v.6), reached out to this unbelieving woman, in His grace.
How many times have we turned away a needy one without so much as a look of kindness? Could it be that Jesus Christ comes to us periodically, knocking on our door or holding out His hand? How can we recognize Him? Only by faith, believing that what He said was true, "If you do it to them, you do it to me."
May the Lord remind us at such times to minister lovingly to those He sends our way. KLB