John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
Luke 3:11 (NIV)
These are the words of John the Baptist in response to the fundamental question from his audience, “what shall we do then?”. The question comes after John taught that those who were not bearing good fruit would be uprooted by the King of kings. His answer to this important question is “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same”.
John is giving a standard against which our inter-personal relationships must be measured. A shirt is to be construed beyond the borders of its literal meaning. It includes all material things that are necessary to human life. The word of God is encouraging us to share an extra shirt (i.e. anything valuable to human life) with anyone who has not had the privilege to have it and is in need of it, once our need is met or satisfied. It is the extra shirt that has to be shared.
We live in a world where many desire to amass as much wealth as they can in order to defeat lack. Through hard work many people have become wealthy, owning lots of property. At the same time, there are millions of poor people who may never know (not even in a dream) the feeling of sleeping in a decent house, put on good clothing or even have a better meal. God is calling you to express the love of Christ by being selfless and taking keen interest in the welfare of others by sharing what you have with those in need.
Jesus has seized you to be that sharer of two shirts!
This is the fifth in the “Seized to Be A Friend to the Unfriended” series of blog posts and is a special submission from Zhingisa Luneta from Christian Empowerment Microfinance (CEMFIN), our partner in Zambia.