Bible Society of South Africa
Hennie Symington

A journey of the soul – Day 7

The Messiah among us

Bible text(s)

35I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, 36naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’

37“The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ 40The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these members of my family, you did it for me!’

Matthew 25:35-40GNBOpen in Bible reader

Once upon a time, there was a Benedictine cloister that what was never visited by anyone. Day by day, the monks sat and waited but no one ever turned up. Eventually, they turned old and grey, and grew tired of waiting.

Just outside the cloister, there lived an old rabbi. People came from far and wide to visit him. They chatted about everything and especially about Yahweh in creation. This went on for years until, one day, the abbot decided to pay a visit to the rabbi.

When he arrived at the rabbi’s hut, the rabbi welcomed him with open arms – almost as if he was expecting him. The abbot got to the point straight away. He told the rabbi about the monks who were very devout, but lacked the fervour needed to ignite the community; as a result, the cloister was dying out. He asked the rabbi whether he had some insight into the workings of Yahweh in their lives. The old rabbi leaned over to the abbot and whispered in his ear, “I’m going to tell you this one little secret. You may repeat it to the monks once but after that, no one may say it to another ever again.” And so the abbot agreed.

“Well,” said the rabbi, “the secret is that one of you is the bearer of the Messiah.” The abbot could not wait to tell the secret to the monks. From that day onwards, they began to look for the Messiah in each other. As they searched and wondered who it might be, they started seeing each other through different eyes. They began to love each other and before long, their cloister went from strength to strength.

The lesson of the story? When the monks started seeing each one as the potential Messiah, the way they regarded their fellow monks changed.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.7
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