Jesus Fed the Hungry Himself Without Taxing Anyone
It was a wonderful day in the Promised Land. Well, maybe it didn’t start out totally wonderful. True, there were thousands of people listening to the Son of God preach the good news that reconciliation with God is possible through Christ the Son. The words of Jesus may have filled the minds and hearts of the crowd, but their stomachs were growling. They were just plain hungry. There were men, women, and children all needing food. SO…… Jesus took charge! He sent runners to the government to request aid be delivered immediately. The government wasn’t totally opposed to giving the aid because they could tax the people a huge amount, keep about half to spend on their personal projects and upkeep, and spend the rest on buying food, transporting food, distributing food, and create tons of jobs in the bargain. It was a win, win for big government. The government of that day loved taxes just like all corrupt governments. A mere 30 years earlier Caesar Augustus had sent out that famous decree that all the world should be taxed. That tax was taken so seriously by the people that the very pregnant mother of Jesus and her husband had traveled to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Anyway, seeing the dire need of the crowd for food Jesus sent out the request for government assistance. Unfortunately, by the time the food was delivered to answer Jesus’ request the people who were able to leave had left the area searching for their own food. For those who trusted in the government to feed them, food arrived too late. Many died of starvation. Those who lived through to see the government provisions were so weak from starvation their mental capacity was diminished dramatically. They were never again able to care for themselves.
Oh, wait. That isn’t what happened when Jesus was there. That is what happens today every time there is a crisis. People stand around waiting on the government to send aid until their lives are totally ruined regardless of what the government finally gets around to doing.
What really happened when Jesus faced the crowd of hungry people was that Jesus simply fed them. He did not require anyone to help Him. He did not expect the government to send aid. He didn’t take a single penny from anyone to help Him do His good deed. He simply fed the hungry.
Obviously no human has to power to create food out of nothing. Each of us does have some ability to do something. We can use our abilities for good in the world today. When we see a need, we should fill that need within the bounds of what we are able to do. Christians need to think pro-actively when it comes to helping others.
· Give as the Lord has prospered.
· Give to fill a need.
· Give as the Lord has laid on your heart.
It isn’t all that hard.
This does not exempt Christians from paying taxes. Jesus was very clear on that. But paying taxes doesn’t exempt Christians from helping others as we are able. Clearly, no one who relies on the government for anything is going to be satisfied with the help received.
It is corruption in the highest form that working people are taxed into oblivion so non-working people can continue to be non-working people. Those in charge of such wickedness will ultimately pay a dreadful price for their evil actions. We still have to deal with their infuriating actions in the mean time. As hard as it may be, just pay the taxes and don’t expect anything in return except more taxes. That is part of your life over which you have no control. On the other hand, helping others through charitable giving and kind action is something you can do. If you are giving to your local church you are supporting training believers and reaching out to the lost in your community. If your church supports missionaries you are supporting the great commission in every place you have a missionary. It is a win win situation. Take joy in giving. Don’t let the joy of giving to the charity or cause of your choice be ruined by the wickedness of the government’s taxation/extortion racket.
There are ways you can give other than money.
You can give a smile, a hug, a warm thank you, a sincere ‘you are welcome’ to those who help you, and many other things that show the love of God to others. Do not discount the importance of these simple things that cost you nothing. I can tell you personally that a kind word has on occasion helped me tremendously. You can probably think of times kind words or a deed has given you an attitude adjustment or even strength to go on through a difficult situation. (If you are in need of kind words and help, but not getting it, read the book of Psalms. God Himself will encourage you while you are reading.)
However, often a gift of something of value is needed. If you find yourself in a situation where you can help someone then go ahead and help them whether it is tax deductible or not. Just help for the sake of helping, not because of what you may or may not get back out of it.
Jesus gave us many examples of how to behave, but I think one of the main things He did was to live as in individualist. He didn’t bow down to the political, social, or religious elite of His day. He set out to do what was right, and that is exactly what He did. Of course no one can meet the standard of utter perfection set by Jesus Christ, but we can strive to live a life that is pleasing to Him regardless of the circumstances in which we currently live. We are supposed to pay our taxes and get on with our lives. The current uncertain and dismal situation globally as well as nationally is just the era in which we live. Every generation in every nation has faced turmoil, unfairness, disappointment, and all sorts of turmoil. Through all the ages the job description of Christians has not changed. Go into all the world and preach the gospel.