For years, when my husband prayed, he would often end his prayer with the phrase, “Help us be Jesus with skin on.” In other words, he was saying: help us be like Jesus by serving others.
I’ve heard him speak those words many times, but I have to admit, I haven’t always lived them out. There have been far more times when my intentions were good, but my follow through failed. There have been times when I’ve sat idle hoping someone else would fulfill a need. There have even been times when I saw a need, but thought, “so-and-so is more qualified to help.”
None of those thoughts are biblical and they certainly are not “being Jesus with skin on.”
So recently, while reading God’s Word, the Holy Spirit walked right into the middle of my good intentions. He sowed a seed in my thoughts that sparked a movement in my heart.
In Matthew 25 Jesus is speaking about His return to earth. He tells us He will gather the people of the earth in front of Him, then He will separate those who followed Him from those who did not.
To those who followed Him, He will say: ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me… I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me.” (verses 34-36 and 40)
Jesus is speaking these words to His sheep, those people who made a choice to follow Him before His return to earth. His words are a call to meet people in their place of spiritual, physical and emotional need regardless of their status. If we fail to serve others (or Him as He tells us here) it doesn’t mean we will not enter into heaven, but when we think about standing before Him at the end of our life, how much greater will it be to know we were faithful to His call.
Jesus goes on to say in verse 45, “…I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.”
Here is where the Holy Spirit met my good intentions. As I move forward, I don’t want to look back and realize I failed to serve Jesus. As I continued to read and process Jesus’ words, my husband’s prayer came to mind, “Help us to be Jesus with skin on.” His words came to life, but then the Holy Spirit took them one step further and said, “Help me SEE JESUS WITH SKIN ON.”
In other words…
- See Jesus in the one without food and give what I can.
- See Jesus in the single parent and offer to bring dinner or babysit (for free).
- See Jesus in the man who lost his job and bring an offering to the family.
- See Jesus in the lonely and provide a company.
- See Jesus in the cashier and offer a friendly hello.
When I look at others and see beyond their immediate appearance and into the eyes of Jesus my desire to serve is transformed. I no longer want to sit idly hoping someone else will fulfill a need. My heart is moved with compassion, because after all, I never want to miss a chance to love on my Jesus.
If you’ve ever experienced good intentions, but lacked follow through like me, please be encouraged. We’ve all been there. Today is an opportunity to begin afresh and start praying, “Heavenly Father, help me see Jesus with skin on.”