x492........Feeding the Poor which are Our Brothers
34* Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed
of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world: 35* For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty,
and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36* Naked, and
ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came
unto me. 37* Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw
we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When
saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40* And the
King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as
ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye
have done it unto me (Matthew 25: 34-40)
This teaching of Jesus relates one of the judgments at the end times. In this teaching it is shown that those who inherit the kingdom, are those who have cared for the sick and the hungry and the homeless and those in prison.
But there is a word that is often overlooked in this teaching--this care--is specifically for those who are "Brethren".--
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me"
This instruction of Jesus is meant for those who are Christians--
Mt 23:8* But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
The brethren which are referred to here are the poor and needy which are brothers and sisters in Christ. This lines up with exactly what the NT church did in the Bible. The example which they set is to feed and care for all our Christian brothers and sisters and make sure they have what they need. Whether it is food or clothing or money or housing or to be visited when the are sick or imprisoned. This was one of the central operational principals of the New Covenant church....
1Co 16:1* Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
Ro 12:13* Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Ro 15:26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
2Co 9:12* For the administration of this service not only supplieth
the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings
(Galatians 2: 9-10) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10* Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Directly after the indwelling of the Holy spirit on the day of Pentecost, one of the direct results was that the new Christians (thousands of them) all gave to one another--they cared for the needs of those in the church--
42* ¶ And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43* And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44* And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46* And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47* Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2: 42-47)
Later when the entire church was refreshed by the Spirit again this was one of the same results--
31* And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled
together; and they were all filled with the Holy
Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 32* ¶ And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one
soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33* And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34* Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the thingsthat were sold, 35* And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4: 31-35)
Giving to the poor within the church was clearly a very important New
Covenant command. It was there so that all within he church
had no lack --which was NOT for the fact that they all could have whatever they wanted--it was because all the people were serving
God and lack would prevent them from doing their ministry to the Lord.
Questions: Do we follow after this ideal in our churches today? Or do
we rather meet the needs of leadership only and ignore the needs of
all the saints? What degree of importance do we place on giving to the poor which are our brethren?