In Matthew 25:36 it says: “I was in prison, and ye came unto me”.
Jesus goes on to say that there is a reward for people who visit those in prison. But the question that crosses my mind is, why? Why does he give a reward to those who visit someone in prison?
Have you ever been to jail or prison? Concrete walls, thick sliding metal doors that close a person in at night, junk meals for food, communal showers, guards that talk down to people, unknown people who may have committed crimes (where you may be innocent) within arm’s reach, maybe solitary confinement, the list goes on and on. It can be a treacherous place.
There are other situations where Jesus gives a reward when we minister to people also. He says when they are:
- Hungry and we give them something to eat
- Thirsty and we give them something to drink
- A Stranger and we show them hospitality
- Naked and we clothe them
- Sick (or weak) and go see and/or relieve them
Why should we do these things?
- Because we care about people? Yes
- Because they are in need? Yes
- Because there is a reward? Yes
- Because we are a disciple of the Lord Jesus? Yes
- Because that is what Jesus would do? Yes
- Yes, Yes, Yes, those are all good reasons.
But what is the real reason we should visit those who are in prison?