Listening to a new author as she reflected on this very passage from Matt., I was shocked that I had never thought about what Jesus really seems to be saying. I’ve always seen this as a call to action, to helping the hungry, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and truly it is. But the typical thought is that we will see Christ when we act like Christ.
But where do we see Christ in this image? Isn’t Jesus found, the very Imago Dei, in those who are broken? Isn’t Jesus found in the hungry, the naked, the stranger, and the sick? Why do we spend our time trying so hard to “have it all together”? to be successful, whatever that might mean in our particular context? to NOT be hungry, naked, a stranger, or sick? What if our call is not to be stronger, fuller, or “more” but is instead to acknowledge our brokenness, our weakness, our emptiness, our “less-ness”. What if only by truly admitting our weakness and even embracing it can we truly know Jesus? What if what we need is not Jesus’ healing so that we are stronger (for when we are strong we are far more prone to walk away from Jesus) but His merciful presence in the midst of our sickness?
Perhaps Paul knew what he was talking about when he claimed that in our weakness, Jesus is proved strong.