If anyone gives even a cup of cold water . . . that person will certainly not lose their reward. Matthew 10:42
Ashton and Austin Samuelson graduated from a Christian college with a strong desire to serve Jesus. However, neither felt called to a traditional ministry in the church. But what about ministry in the world? Absolutely. They blended their burden to end childhood hunger with their God-given entrepreneurial skills, and in 2014 launched a restaurant that serves tacos. But this isn’t just any restaurant. The Samuelsons operate from a buy-one-give-one philosophy. For every meal bought, they donate money to provide a meal specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of malnourished children. So far, they’ve made contributions in more than sixty countries. Their goal is to be a part of ending childhood hunger—one taco at a time.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 10 are not cryptic. They are astoundingly clear: devotion is evidenced by actions, not words (vv. 37–42). One of those actions is giving to the “little ones.” For the Samuelsons, that focus is giving to children. But take note, the “little ones” isn’t a phrase limited to chronological age. Christ is calling us to give to any who are of “little account” in the eyes of this world: the poor, the sick, the prisoner, the refugee, those disadvantaged in any way. And give what? Well, Jesus says “even a cup of cold water” (v. 42). If something as small and simple as a cup of cold water classifies, then a taco surely fits right in line too.
Who in your life are little in the eyes of the world? What’s something small you can do today to serve these “little ones”?
Jesus, give me eyes to see and ears to hear today, so that I can serve, even in a small way, the least of these who cross my path.
Each of the gospel writers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had a definite plan for how to tell the story of Jesus. Each had a different audience and wanted to reach that audience in the most accessible way. In writing to a primarily Jewish audience, Matthew builds his witness around five major teaching blocks, beginning with the Sermon on the Mount (chs. 5–7) and ending with the Olivet Discourse (chs. 24–25), with three others in between (chs. 10, 13, 18). Some scholars suggest this would have resonated with a Jewish audience because the five discourses of Jesus would parallel the five books of Moses (Torah) and the five sections into which the psalms are divided. Additionally, Matthew relies heavily on the Old Testament Scriptures, quoting them around fifty times and alluding to them another seventy-five times.