In the form of an old soldier, a helpless mother, and an orphan stealing from a poor woman selling apples Jesus appeared to the shoemaker who waited eagerly for His visit. The shoemaker, however, was unaware of the fact that he had already served the guest of his dreams, literally, three times that day. What he had prepared to serve Jesus was instead shared with the people in need, and Jesus commended him for that.
We want to serve God and work for Him with great willingness and anticipation, yet unlike the shoemaker in the story, we often turn a blind eye to the people around us who have real needs. In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25, Jesus addresses this problem. To the question ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?’ he answered, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Likewise, Jesus said to the shoemaker, “It was me.”
Imagine hearing those exact words from the mouth of God and Creator of the universe as He welcomes us into eternal life. What joy and pride await those who fed Jesus when He was hungry, gave Him something to drink when He was thirsty, invited Him in when He was a stranger, clothed Him when He needed clothes, visited Him when He was sick or in prison!