Do You Believe What Jesus Believed?
The first time you discover this passage, it may seem out of place. If you are familiar with “red-letter edition” Bibles, the direct words Jesus spoke are printed in red. As you are reading through the book of Acts, there is this one sentence printed in red in those editions of the Scripture: “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35). Paul was speaking to the brethren in Ephesus, reminding them to work hard and help the weak AND to remember these words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
What Did Jesus Believe About Giving?
Our first response to that question is obvious. There has never been anyone to walk on the earth who illustrated giving more than Jesus. He “gave Himself a ransom for all,” (1 Tim. 2:6). He “gave Himself for our sins,” (Gal. 1:4). Paul said, He “gave himself up for her,” the church (Eph. 5:25). And, He “gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” (Eph. 5:25). When Christians partake of the Lord’s Supper, we remember that He gave Himself for us (Lk. 22:19-20).
God’s grace (perfect mercy combined with generosity) is perfectly witnessed in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Jesus believed in giving.
He expects His people to imitate that spirit that freely gives. He instructed His disciples to give what they had received (Matt. 10:8); a genuine but quiet benevolence (Matt. 6:2-4). We are to give encouragement and spiritual help: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” (Gal. 6:2). “And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward,” (Matt. 10:42).
When it comes to “givers” and “receivers,” Jesus confers the greater blessing on the givers. That’s what He believed. What about us?