因為我餓了，你們給我吃。 ~馬太福音 25:35
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. ~Matthew 25:35
Jesus can be hungry, too.
Jesus fasted in the wilderness. After forty days of victory, he was hungry. When Jesus was hungry like us and reached the critical point physically, mentally and spiritually, he had to deal with this feeling of hunger to survive. We don’t know whether it’s hunger or dizziness that produced an illusion or if there is a visible figure in front of Jesus that talked with him. It was not just a dialogue but questions that are significant challenges in the process of human life. He is not only the son of God but also human. He has God’s vision and power but the temper and weakness of man.
We don’t fully understand Jesus without spending some thoughts and efforts for the Messiah. How do we know what Jesus was thinking? Was it human thoughts or divine vision? Is it based on the power of God or in the face of human weakness? We might complain to our partner, who we spend day and night with, “how can I know if you didn’t tell me?” Besides, Jesus often said something we couldn’t understand, which makes it even more challenging to know whether this Jesus, who is God and man, is now speaking in words of God or man. That is why Jesus taught so often in parables.
However, in addition to his words, the way Jesus taught most often was, “You see how I do it, and you learn to do it.” Jesus didn’t want us to be philosophers or debaters but practitioners. To become a follower of Jesus, it doesn’t matter what you can talk about, but what you are willing to do. This difference made Paul a Pharisee full of knowledge to a practitioner of faith, who does not just talk, but do and get their hands dirty. Jesus’ disciples followed the teacher’s pattern and “did it.” Regardless of their origins or families. Jesus has mercy, so you have mercy; Jesus heals, and He heals with authority, He gives; Jesus feeds, and you feed the hungry; we always pray, “Thy kingdom come, on earth as in heaven.” Let’s learn to take up your cross and follow Jesus just as he did.
What we need to do is not to ask for rewards or good luck. We need to ask God what we need to do now that He has given us an excellent example of Jesus. It may not be something we like or familiar with, but something we don’t like or are afraid of, or even something we couldn’t let go of because it is a cross, a glory from suffering. We are followers of Jesus after repentance and paying the price, not His fans.
When we enter the Great Lent in March, it is time for us to starve in the wilderness with Jesus. If we want to inherit the kingdom of God, we need to ask ourselves, “Where is Jesus? Did we feed Jesus when Jesus was hungry? Have we taken up our cross and followed Jesus?” Not as a moral theorist but as a practitioner of faith.