Jesus Loves Pizza

“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor”

Proverbs 22:9  

Sitting in our church cafe earlier this week just after sunrise, I noticed a homeless person sleeping outside the Cafe on the ground. I walked over to the window from the inside and looked down and there was a young man most likely in his thirties, thin, yet strong and with visibly dirty feet from walking, sound asleep on a blanket with a pillow under his head. He reminded me of what I think Jesus might have looked like at that age. He had no idea I was there and I didn’t disturb him. As we sat around the table in our bible discussion one of the men stated that he had over heard some men in our church complaining about the homeless people on our campus and that their presence was going to cause ‘some’ in our church to leave. As I sat listening to him speak I was saddened by the thought of how many times I miss the opportunity to minister to Jesus, not just for Jesus but actually to Jesus. And to think you and I get a chance every day, each time we serve others sacrificially to entertain angels. How quickly I and others forget the admonishment of Hebrews 13:1 where it says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
 
The religious Jews rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah because Jesus didn’t look like the Messiah in their eyes. Jesus didn’t dress like they imagined the Messiah would. He didn’t eat or drink the way they thought the Messiah would or should. They for sure didn’t think the Messiah would hang around with the likes of the people that Jesus spent His time with. All I know is nothing happens by chance in this life, absolutely nothing. Since the topic of homelessness came up on its own the opportunity to share an event that had just occurred the day before seemed fitting for the moment. On Monday I was enjoying a pizza lunch with my wife and two of our grandchildren. As we finished our lunch or as much as any of us could eat I got some “to go” boxes for our left overs. As we sat talking I began to put each of our left overs into separate little boxes to take home. About that time our oldest granddaughter Reese who is 6 years old asked my wife and I if we could give her pizza to some homeless person for lunch. My wife thought that was a great idea and as we each glanced outside the restaurant, none of us saw anyone that we could give our pizza most likely due to the sweltering heat. Our cities normally visible homeless population was wisely seeking refuge someplace cooler.

Not to be detoured, we loaded up the car and my wife began driving looking around the shopping center in hopes of finding someone with whom we could share Reese’s lunch but to no avail. I suggested to my wife who was driving that she should head towards our church as I know there is always some homeless people there. As we drove past the church not a single homeless person was in sight. The heat must have been too much. We drove around all the areas near our church that are frequented by homeless population but we saw no one. I suggested we try one more place before heading back to our house and as we pulled up into the parking lot there were three young men sitting under a tree.

My wife was explaining to our grand daughter that it would be better to let Opa (me) offer the food to the young men and Reese was ok with that. By this time she was a little nervous about approaching strangers any way so I exited the car and began a conversation with a simple greeting, “how are you guys doing today?” I then asked them if they would life some pizza and they could see the box that I had wasn’t very big as there were three of them. One of the young men said politely as he took the box, “thank you sir, that is very kind of you, God bless you.” The other two followed in agreement. One of the other young men pulled out a pocket knife from his pants pocket and opened it exposing a 4-5” blade on it. He looked at me and said, “there are three of us” and then he preceded to open the box of pizza thinking he was going to have to cut it up into pieces so he and his friends could share it.

When the lid opened he laughed in surprise and looked at me and said with a smile, “well what do you know, its cut into three pieces already, one for each of us” and he took one slice then handed the box to his friends. As I turned to walk away I said, “I hope you enjoy it” and again they each thanked me again and said, “God bless you” as I got back in the car.

I wish you could have seen the joy on my grand daughters face when she heard how her act of kindness was perfect to meet the needs of these three men sitting under a tree that day. I sat there thinking about the love and care God has for humanity and how He knew that there would be three pieces of pizza and three guys who could use a bite to eat. I also thought about the blessing my wife and I along with our grand daughter received when we were able to share with others God’s blessings in our lives. God blesses us so we can bless others too.

As we headed for home and I was listening to my wife explain ways God uses us to minister His love to complete strangers when the Lord quickened a familiar passage of scripture to mind. In Matthew 25 we read a story about the judgment that will take place at the end of the Tribulation period where Jesus rewards every person for the things they have or have not done in this life. The Lord quickened Matthew 25:31-40 to my heart where it says, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

Don’t forget, loved one, each and every time you and I minister to people that much of society  doesn’t have time for or who has written off or given up on, we might just be entertaining angels unaware! And better still, when we minister to the less fortunate in our communities we are in reality ministering to Jesus Himself as He identifies with the plight of those with whom the world has rejected. All I know is this past Monday, the best part of our meal wasn’t what we enjoyed eating, the best part was what we had the joy of giving away. Like you, I’ll forget a lot of meals I have eaten but I don’t think I’ll soon forget the meals I have given away in Jesus name. And to think, Jesus loves pizza!


 
“But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased”

Hebrews 13:16  



I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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