“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40 KJV.
“Christ has just told us that our senses do not yet comprehend how highly He values deeds of charity. Now He openly declares that He will reckon as done to Himself whatever we have bestowed on His people. We must be extremely sluggish if our compassion is not aroused by this statement that Christ is either neglected or honored in the persons of those who need our assistance. So whenever we are reluctant to assist the poor, let us place before our eyes the Son of God, to whom it would be base sacrilege to refuse anything.
By these words Christ likewise shows that He acknowledges those acts of kindness that have been performed gratuitously and without any expectation of reward. Certainly, when He enjoins us to do good to the hungry and naked, to strangers and prisoners, from whom nothing can be expected in return, we must look to Him who freely lays Himself under obligation to us and allows us to place to His account what might otherwise appear to be lost.
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren expressly recommends believers to our notice. In this Christ does not bid us to altogether despise unbelievers. Though a common tie binds together all the children of Adam, a still more sacred union exists among the children of God. So because those who belong to the household of faith ought to be preferred to strangers, Christ makes special mention of them.
Though Christ’s design was to encourage those whose wealth and resources were abundant to relieve the poverty of brethren, yet it affords no ordinary consolation to the poor and distressed that, though shame and contempt follow them in the eyes of the world, yet the Son of God holds them as dear as His own members. Certainly, by calling them brethren, He confers on them inestimable honor.”
-From the Writings of John Calvin (1509-1564)
“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds
which we have done in righteousness,
but according to His mercy…”
Titus 3:5 NASB.