WHAT ABOUT THE POOR?
"The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
One thing you have to say about Jesus is that He had compassion. He really truly honestly cared about people. He took the time to care for a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. He fed thousands just because they were hungry. He walked miles and miles out of his way to keep a divine appointment with a Samaritan woman who needed to hear a message of forgiveness from the Messiah. He spent His days teaching and ministering to the downtrodden, hopeless, helpless, invisible and unimportant people of the streets and markets - known to the religious leaders of the day simply as "sinners."
But Jesus' purpose was never to just give a meal or heal a hurt. Jesus' purpose was about life-change, conversion, salvation. His actions had temporal benefits, of course, but they also led to eternal blessings. When a person was touched by Jesus, their life became new! As Paul put it: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" -- 2 Cor. 5:17.
Now I want you to think about something. Jesus made a statement that John recorded for us in John 14:12; He said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." You see, Jesus left us an example of what it means to care for the helpless and love the hopeless. And then He said, If you want to follow me, you have to do as I do. Friends, there is one and only one group of people on this earth who can continue to do this ministry. That group is the church. You are those people.
It is interesting that Jesus never one time told anyone to go to King Herod for help. And Jesus never went knocking on Pilate's door to try to get him to provide subsidies for the poor or healthcare for the sick. No, what He did instead was call his followers together and sent them out, two by two, to heal and pray and teach. In Luke 9:1-2 we read, "One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick." One chapter later, in Luke 10 we see Jesus doing the same thing, but this time with 72 other believers - not just the apostles this time, but regular Christians.
Why did God give this ministry to the church instead of the government? Because they are the ones who love as He loved. They are the ones who care as he cared. And they are the ones who can give hope and life-change along with their helping hand
Caesar isn't the answer and never has been. Jesus is the answer and always will be.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews