Being Christ to Your Neighbor
The book of Acts records a curious phenomenon: “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria… . Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (8:1, 4, NIV).
It is clear that all of the believers, save the apostolic leaders, were scattered. Those who were scattered (the whole church) went about preaching the Word.
Christians must participate in the ministry of the church, and every Christian must endeavor “to be Christ to his neighbor.” To be Christ to your neighbor is not to be your neighbor’s lord and savior. Rather, it is to be Christ’s representative to your neighbor. We are to represent the mercy and ministry of Jesus to all who are around us.
We do not need volunteers driven by guilty manipulation or looking for merits to be redeemed. Christ has taken our guilt and supplied all the merit we need. We need volunteers because in the least of His brothers, Jesus is hungry, Jesus is thirsty, Jesus is homeless, Jesus is sick, and Jesus is imprisoned. We need volunteers who love Jesus in the afflictions of His least brethren.
In what ways can you be Jesus to your neighbor? What are you doing for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, or imprisoned?
Passages for Further Study