Helping the Whole Person

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).

While Jesus’ primary mission was saving souls, He also “went about doing good.” He saw that people were oppressed, and responded with compassion:

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).

When He encountered people, He preached the gospel, and also healed people. He cared for the soul, and demonstrated that care by even providing for their physical needs. In a remarkable display of power and compassion, Jesus healed a man from spiritual and mental oppression:

“And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid” (Mark 5:15).

As Jesus cared for the whole person, we need to take steps to show people the love of God in tangible ways.

Sometimes, we first give them the gospel and then also care for their needs. At other times, we gain a hearing by showing an act of genuine kindness, and then we share the good news of God’s amazing love. However God leads us, we need to help the whole person.

We can help others a number of ways. Here are a few:

  • Offer to run an errand for them.
  • Pay for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant.
  • Pay a bill for someone in need.
  • Help clean a neighbor’s sidewalk after their trashcan tips over on a windy day.
  • Bake some goodies for someone on your block.

We must also remember that all the good deeds in the world will not save anyone. It’s best to somehow associate our good deeds with the gospel; people need to know the source of our care and love. It all comes from God, and they need to know that.

When we offer hope through Christ and back it up with acts of kindness, the world will take notice. Jesus went about doing good, and forever set an example for those who would follow in His footsteps.

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