Daily Lesson for Monday 20th of November 2023
What do the following stories teach us about ministry to the needy?
Ellen G. White provides a five-step process of Jesus’ method in how to minister, especially to those in need: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’ ”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 143.
First, we must mingle with the helpless, spend time getting to know them, and understand their needs with the intention of doing good for them. Look at what Jesus did with the paralytic at the pool. Jesus was right there, amid the “great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed” (John 5:3, NKJV).
Second, we need to show sympathy. This can be challenging in some cases because of distrust, and because sometimes people use kindness as a means of winning the confidence of someone whom they later abuse. Nevertheless, God is calling us to show sympathy without expecting anything in return.
The third step is to minister to their needs. This involves more than just words. It takes action to minister to the needs of a friend or a stranger. Jesus spoke with the paralytic, asked what he wanted, and then worked a miracle in his behalf. In the story of the man possessed by an “unclean spirit,” Jesus took complete control of the situation, doing for the helpless man what he could not do for himself.
The fourth step is winning their confidence. When we minister to people, when we help them, they will learn to trust us and what we say to them. So, when we talk to them about Jesus, they would be more open to listen. Jesus didn’t want just to heal them physically; He wanted them to have eternal life in Him (see John 10:10).
The last step is to help lead them to Jesus, an act that requires faith from both you and the one whom you help.
We generally can’t do the kind of miracles that Jesus did. But what are ways that we can still minister to those who need help?