And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate. Genesis 18:1-8 ESV
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:34-40 ESV
There’s a story from Rome about an old and poor couple named Philemon and Baucis. The gods Jupiter and Mercury wanted to test to see if there were any kind people on the earth. They disguised themselves as ragged and worn-out travelers and knocked on people’s doors. No one would help them or give them anything to eat until they came to the home of Philemon and Baucis. This old couple insisted that the travelers come in and rest, and gave them food and wine.
Abraham was kind, like Philemon and Baucis. When he saw some travelers come, he did everything he could to make them welcome. These three men were the Lord and two angels, but Abraham might not have known that at first. He was kind and friendly because God had given him so many blessings.
There’s a difference between the Roman story and the true Bible story. Jupiter was testing to see if there were any kind people on earth. God wasn’t testing Abraham. His visit to Abraham was a blessing. When God comes to his people, he brings the blessing of himself, just like when we tell a friend, “You don’t have to bring anything to dinner at my place. Just bring yourself!”
God still blesses us with his presence today. When we hear his Word from the Bible, he is there to speak to us. Most importantly, he came in Jesus to be with us and to save us. Because of Jesus, we know that God is with us all the time.
We might never have Jesus visit our home so that we can give him good things to eat and the most comfortable chair. But we can show our love for Jesus by helping others in need. Jesus says that when we do that, it’s just like we’re helping him. Jesus’ love for us spills over and helps us show love to others.
Thank you, Jesus, for being with us always, helping and forgiving us. Help us show your love to others. Amen.