"Anyone, then, who knows the good he
ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
"Give to everyone who asks you, and if
anyone takes what belongs to you, do
not demand it back."
If we really take these verses to heart, it means we can never pass someone in need. This is not the standard response of people in our culture but it should always be the standard response of those of us who follow Jesus. These are not commands to be lived out of legalism, they are the response of love in the hearts of those who have been loved and saved by Jesus. Out of love we give food to every hungry person we see, we help every stranded traveler, we laugh with those who laugh and cry with those who cry. Jesus always did what was right, so I know that he lived love every moment of every day and gave to every single person who asked of him and many who did not.
I am reminded of the popular story in John 5 where Jesus heals the man at the pool of Bethesda. Immediately after the man was healed we read that Jesus withdrew because of the multitude. People often say, "See, Jesus was at the pool and just healed one person. That means that Jesus only heals some and not others." I have to heartily disagree. From what I know about Jesus, I know that he quickly moved past the man because of the multitude that needed healing. Jesus was a busy man because he was the perfect manifestation of love, giving to everyone who had need.
My city, Allentown, is full of wonderful people who are in need and I am joining the ranks of those who always stop for them. The wonderful part is that I and my daughters have made some wonderful friends through this. One of our good friends in the city is a homeless man named Michael. We love him and he knows it. If we had never stopped to show him that love, we would never have known the joy of his friendship.
So let us always stop for those in need and never give up an opportunity to love. That's the model Jesus left us and there is more joy in it than you could ever imagine!