Following Jesus, Helping the Poor
While Jesus was on earth, He dwelt among common people. He was born to a common family, called lowly fishermen to be His disciples and often ministered to the outcasts of society. Though Jesus came to redeem all mankind, He specified that He came to preach the good news to the poor (see Luke 4:18). He also responded to people’s practical needs, feeding hungry multitudes and healing the sick. As we follow Jesus, helping the poor and those in need should come as a natural outflow of our love for our Savior and our fellow man.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells of future judgement and reward. To those who inherit the kingdom of God, He says,
“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’”.Matthew 25:35-36
These righteous individuals, whom Jesus called “blessed of My Father” in verse 34, are perplexed and inquire when they did these things. Jesus responds,
“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’”.Matthew 25:40
Jesus cares so much for the “least of these,” the poor and downtrodden, that He says anything done for them is equivalent to doing it directly for Him.
“God cares deeply about the poor and expects His people to do the same,” says Focus on the Family. “Christian giving is not so much a matter of helping the poor as it is of identifying with them and embracing their poverty as our own. … By giving to the needy out of what we have, we cast our lot with them, entering into a kind of mutual bond and solidarity in terms of both want and wealth, ‘that there may be equality’ (2 Corinthians 8:14).”1
It is out of compassion and a desire to follow the Savior’s example that Christians and Christian organizations seek to help those less fortunate. GFA World, for example, serves the “least of these” in places such as Asia and Africa, sharing Christ’s love in tangible ways.
Jesus compassionately ministered to outcasts such as leprosy patients that no one else dared draw near to. GFA missionaries follow Jesus’ example, caring for leprosy patients by tending to their wounds and helping with everyday tasks these individuals are no longer able to perform themselves.
According to the Apostle James,
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world”.James 1:27
GFA missionaries take this scripture to heart. Serving in areas where widows are often rejected, GFA missionaries care for these precious women and children. They help meet practical needs and empower these women to provide for themselves and their children through things such as vocational training and income-generating gifts.
These are just two ways GFA missionaries are helping those in need as they follow Christ’s example.
1 “Biblical Basis for Giving to the Poor.” Focus on the Family. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-qa/biblical-basis-for-giving-to-the-poor/. Accessed November 2, 2021.