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Editor's journey

Judas and the poor

Pittsburgh, Pa. — Judas dined shamelessly with Jesus and the disciples the night he would betray them. Jesus, knowing Judas’ intentions, said, "What you are about to do, do quickly" (John 13:27, NIV).

Judas hastily departed. The other disciples assumed Jesus had merely instructed Judas, the treasurer, to go and give an offering to the poor. (See John 13:29.)

Presumably the disciples came to that conclusion because day after day they witnessed Jesus directing Judas to give money to people in need. Jesus practiced what He preached.

If Jesus did not offer help to the hungry, how could He speak with credibility to His disciples? In Luke 14:13,14, He says, "When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed."

Some believers today contend the church should focus its attention on "spiritual things" and rely on the government and nonreligious groups to feed the hungry. But that’s not what Jesus taught. He demonstrated His concern for the physical and spiritual needs of men, women and children. He didn’t weep and walk away. He acted. He reached out and met their need and showed them the way to eternal life.

Jesus understood that a small offering from the treasury would only provide a meal or two. But He gave anyway, because He knew the difference one meal and a gentle word could make in the life of someone who was hurting.

He also recognized that giving to the poor tenderizes the heart of the giver. It guards our hearts from becoming proud, ungrateful and self-centered. Giving keeps our eyes on reaching people rather than attaining personal glory.

This Thanksgiving let me encourage you to follow Jesus’ example by giving a meal to someone who is hungry. Because you gave, someday you might have the privilege of dining with him or her at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

— Hal Donaldson

Click here to give to the Assemblies of God World Hunger Day Fund

 

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