Touching people through their physical needs
Jesus fulfill the people’s spiritual needs by first addressing their physical concerns. Jesus had compassion when He saw the physical needs of the people. When Jesus saw the masses that were left in the wilderness without food, He fed them (John 6). When Jesus saw the sick, He had compassion on them and healed them. Even though He knew that many would eventually leave Him, He met them at their point of need.
Jesus taught us that physical needs are legitimate needs that must be met. In fact, it is through the work of love that the fruit of faith can be seen and experienced. James 2:14 says,
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
James added that true religion is to fulfill the needs of orphans and widows in distress. However, Jesus also used people’s physical needs as windows to fulfill their spiritual needs, which is to know the truth and be reconciled to God as sons. Fulfilling the spiritual need is the only way to break the curses of poverty towards abundant living. Jesus told the people after feeding them bread,
Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal. John 6:27.
Jesus’ life example taught us to be sensitive to the needs of those who daily pass us by. Works of kindness and love is part of the uncorrupted human nature. It is impossible to fulfill the spiritual needs of people without first addressing their physical concerns. Ghandi once said, “To a man with an empty stomach food is God.”
I like to challenge you today, to not hold on too tightly to your money. When someone approaches you with a need, do not consider if he deserves it, just give it away freely. It does not cost you much to give him the smallest denomination in your wallet. But it becomes costly, if his lack forces him to commit a crime that not only affects him but the victim.
Jesus taught us to judge a person not by his appearance, his level of knowledge, or his religious background, but by his heart through his works. There are many who will try to impress by their many words. They want to be accepted because of their level of knowledge, their experience, their spirituality, and even their professed loyalty. However, Jesus judges not by appearance but by their works. Jesus said to the Jews,
If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. John 7:23-24
In those days, spirituality was judged by one’s conformance to the Jews’ version of the Moses’ Law. However, Jesus emphasized that true spirituality is not determined by a person’s religious knowledge or commitment to religious rituals but by the state of a person’s heart. God welcomes one whose heart is full of compassion and truth.
Do you judge others favorably because they agree with you on most things or because they pledge their allegiance to you? Do you judge others by their ability to inspire you and give you hope? What are the criteria that pertain to judging with righteous judgment?
1. Putting the interests of the community above his own.
2. Able to deliver what is promised, being faithful and diligent to the tasks at hand.
3. Being genuinely interested in people even in those who were less popular.
4. A sense of gratefulness and loyalty.