Jesus Teaches Compassion for the Poor
Key Verse: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
FAITHFUL SERVICE TO THE Heavenly Father can be demonstrated in many ways. Faithfulness in the small opportunities which come our way is especially emphasized in our Key Verse. This lesson points out to us the importance of living our lives in an unselfish manner, even in the small things. Such should be the aim of one who truly desires to daily be a willing sacrifice.—Rom. 12:1
Faithfulness in that which is least will of necessity involve the use of the seemingly mundane earthly things of life in God’s service. Indeed, this is what is meant by the giving of our all in sacrifice. We are to ever realize that everything we have rightfully belongs to the Lord, and that this includes our time, talents, energy, and finances—these and many other things are all a part of our stewardship. “Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Cor. 6:20) Having such a desire to lead a life pleasing to the Heavenly Father will help us to become “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God,” as we continually look for ways to please and serve him. (Phil. 4:18) We are to then view any opportunity of service to our Heavenly Father, great or small, as a prize and a great privilege—which indicates the true attitude of our heart. Paul sums up this attitude with the words: “By love serve one another.”—Gal. 5:13,14
When we look at the experiences of those such as the Apostle Paul, we realize that he was faithful in adhering to the words that Jesus spoke in our Key Verse. He was constantly looking for ways to encourage, help, and uplift his brethren “in that which is least” and also “in much.” He was led by his faith in God, and knew that this would be the key to gain the prize that he so desired. Paul knew that “without faith it is impossible to please him.” (Heb. 11:6) He further knew, however, that it that was necessary to apply the words, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33), and by seeking to actively demonstrate his faith by works.
We should, through faith accompanied by works, be inspired by the example of Jesus and the apostles. We are to likewise seek daily to be faithful “in that which is least” and “in much” as we run “the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1) “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.”—II Cor. 4:14,15
The proper outlook concerning the way that we are to view our privilege of leading a life full of compassion for others—in least and in much—can be found in the words spoken prophetically concerning our Lord and his faithful followers. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings; … he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”—Isa. 61:1