And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little
Our Lord gradually descends from prophets to righteous men, and from righteous men, to those of the lowest form and class among them; who have the least measure of grace, and share of spiritual light, and knowledge; who are outwardly the poorest, meanest, and most contemptible in the eyes of the world; and are little, even the least of saints, in their own esteem and account: whosoever takes notice but of "one" of these, receives him into his house, and gives him
a cup of cold water only,
is regarded, a phrase used to express the least favour, or benefit whatever.
``So says F20 Maimonides, one that calls to his friend to dine with him, and he refuses, and swears, or vows, that he shall not enter into his house, nor will he give him to drink, (Nnwu tpj) "a drop of cold water"''Moreover, this is said to prevent any objection, on account of the mean and low condition persons may be in, to their relieving necessitous objects; for everyone is capable of doing this, and if they can do no more, it is accepted. Now whosoever takes notice of, and shows favour to the meanest of Christ's people, though it be but bestowing so small a benefit as a cup of cold water; yet, if it is done
in the name of a disciple,
or because that poor person is a disciple of Christ,
I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward:
it will be observed another day by Christ, who takes what is done to the least of his brethren, as done to himself. The Jews say many things in praise of hospitality, to (Mkx dymlt) , "a disciple of a wise man"; and observe F21, that he that hospitably entertains such an one in his house, and causes him to eat and drink, and partake of the goods of his house, there is reason to believe, he shall be much more blessed than the house of Obed Edom was for the ark's sake, which neither ate nor drank with him; and which may be compared with this passage.
F20 Hilchot Nedarim, c. 8. sect. 10.
F21 T. Bab, Beracot, fol. 63. 2. & 64. 1.