Jesus is clear that we are to help the poor. We are to give to them directly. I am not to think it is someone else’s job to help. It is mine and mine alone. It doesn’t matter if no one else does. I am to do it. PERIOD!
It doesn’t stop there though. Jesus came to bring good news to the poor. A little money may help for a while, but eternity is stake here. In addition to money, we should always proclaim the good news to everyone but especially the poor.
In both the Old and New Testaments, we see God’s desire for His children to show compassion to the poor and needy. Jesus said that the poor would always be with us. He also said that those who show mercy to the poor, the sick, and the needy are in effect ministering to Him personally and will be rewarded accordingly.
We must give the poor good news. Poverty may be ours in this life but not for eternity. No! Not at all. We are a people of hope and we have good news.
- Luke 4:18 — “The Spirit of the Master is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,
- Isaiah 61:1 —The Spirit of the Master God is upon me, Because the Master has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;
- Matthew 11:5 — 5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
- Luke 14:21 — 21 “And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’
The word here for “gospel” is εὐαγγελίζω. It means to communicate good news concerning something (in the NT a particular reference to the gospel message about Jesus) — ‘to tell the good news, to announce the gospel.’ A couple of examples are:
- ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ τῆς γραφῆς ταύτης εὐηγγελίσατο αὐτῷ τὸν Ἰησοῦν ‘starting from this very passage of Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus’ Ac 8:35;
- ἀπεστάλην λαλῆσαι πρὸς σὲ καὶ εὐαγγελίσασθαι σοι ταῦτα ‘I have been sent to speak to you and tell you this good news’ Lk 1:19. In Lk 1:19.
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, pp. 411–412). New York: United Bible Societies.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Lk 4:21). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.