I have great respect for ministers. Their commitment to carry out the service of the Lord challenges me. Young lives giving up the standards of this world just to fulfill the great commission amaze me. Such is the transformation which Jesus brings in us!
As we go through the gospels we see a young life given up for our sake, that is, the life of Jesus. How was Jesus’ ministry as a youth?
The crux of His ministry was the needy. He was, in a number of occasions, either found with them or they were found with Him. It was difficult to separate the commoners from Jesus, So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. (Mark5:24) “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered (Mark 5:31a).
What did Jesus practice as a youth along with His service to the church? How are we in comparison with what Jesus did for the needy? Some actions of Jesus which personally drove me towards thinking about charity is that-
• He Served The Needy & Encouraged Others To Do The Same
Jesus did not let the crowd go in hunger but gave them bread and fish to satisfy them. In Matthew 19:19-22, He asked a young man to do the same-give his wealth to the poor. Jesus did not ask him to sell it & give it to the church because Jesus knew that he was already following all the laws religiously. As we have our duty towards the church, we must also remember our duty towards the needy of the society. It is not the healthy, but the sick that needs a doctor. Here’s a rather very “harsh” & difficult (though not impossible) to practice quote by C.S.Lewis on Charity, “If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them” (Mere Christianity, Chap 3)
• He Brought The Good News To Them
He walked through the lanes and roads of the cities. He found people on the tree, on the road, in caves, in excluded places, and ministered to them. Jesus included the needy in God’s family! (Luke 6:20 [Amplified Bible] And solemnly lifting up His eyes on His disciples, He said: Blessed (happy—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition—and to be envied) are you poor and lowly and afflicted (destitute of wealth, influence, position, and honor), for the kingdom of God is yours!) . If Jesus did that, what is stopping us today?
Let us complete our ministry by lending a helping hand to the needy. More than satisfying their physical hunger (which He did & we must do likewise), Jesus was concerned about their soul. We, the youth for Jesus, have a potential to cater to this section of the society. Our Jesus did it and so can we!
As I work for victims who are excluded by the society, I have realized that their greatest need, more than anything, is to be cared for. Food, clothing and shelter follow later. Even a small gesture of a smile or a hug makes their day! They have never heard a word of encouragement all their life. People have stamped them & abused them (literally). They don’t know how it feels to be loved, to be cared for. They have been given in to the hands of a cruel world at an age where they don’t even know themselves well. Some of them don’t remember their real name, their age, their village, their home, their siblings, their family; nothing at all! Their trauma exceeds beyond our imagination. They have been used and abused mentally, physically, emotionally and in every sense you can think of.
The youth of this generation should be equipped to minister amongst these. Jesus was found teaching in the temple and also helping the needy on the streets. We musn’t forget the later part. Church leaders and pastors should strive towards training the youth to get on the streets and share the blessings the Lord has given them (in terms of spiritual gifts & monetary, blessings).
Jesus has sent us to deliver such; not by our might or our strength, but by His grace. Just like our Father has compassion on the needy, we too must imitate Him to earn the credit of “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
Have you been involved in a ministry of serving the needy? If yes, share your story with us. If no, what is it that stops you? Are there challenges or mental blocks you haven’t overcome yet? Please share with us in the comments below.