We are called to love and help people both physically and spiritually… so why is it so hard to balance giving with preaching? Can one happen without the other?
Benevolence and Evangelism
The teachings of Jesus seem clear in many ways when it comes to charging us to love people, so why do we start regulating how it happens and how much it happens? Is benevolence just the bait on the hook for the gospel message? Can the Church simply help people or does that come with a quota? It almost seems that in this age, it has been boiled down to a corporate model replete with charts and graphs telling us how well we are converting people. Are we just called to be a salesman for Christ? Or does the term, “fishers of men” imply more than simply catching people?
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
(Luke 4:18-19 ESV)
In this study, we want to look at Jesus himself. What did his ministry look like? What was his mission statement? How effective were his evangelistic methods? What about his compassion for others? Maybe we should spend more time simply following our rabbi instead of divvying up, regulating, and legalizing our service.
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat
(Matthew 14:14-16 ESV)
What did Jesus expect the fruit of the righteous to look like according to the Olivet discourse?
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
(Matthew 25:37-40 ESV)
But aside from this what did Jesus call us to be to the world?
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All power in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 NCV)