As illustrated in the Gospel of Mathew 22:26 a man came to Jesus and asked him about the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus replied with 2 commandments with the 2nd being “love your neighbour as you love yourself.” This suggests that you should love your neighbour as much as you love yourself and it’s required to always be valid. So if your neighbour was poor and needy, it would be your responsibility to help him. Also this neighbour doesn’t have to be someone who lives next door but anyone poor and needy requiring help.
Similarly, the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 also implies this. As known to be fact, the Jews in Jesus’ time looked down on the Samaritans and treated them to be inferiors to themselves. Due to this when Christians read or hear about this parable they realise that the Samaritan could have left the wounded Jew because they were considered as enemies of each other. The few main lessons Christians can learn from this are: that they have a duty and responsibility to help all people- those they don’t like, those who have been unkind, those of a different race and those who brought suffering unto them. Another part of the bible which supports this concept is from Mathew 25:31-46. “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Shows how Jesus taught that whatever you do for someone less fortunate than yourself, you shall be acknowledged by God.
In the time of Jesus many people believed that wealth was a sign of blessing and the rich should be respected because God had rewarded them. Though Jesus’ teachings gave a message which differed to they’re beliefs. “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6: 20-21). The teaching illustrates that no one is perceived as a greater person in Gods eyes than the poor. This is because of their hunger, their unhappiness or their poverty therefore they should not be looked down upon as if they are a lesser being. They should in fact be treated with the same respect as the wealthy and more fortunate.
The same message is again preached through Mathew 19:22, 24 "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." In this passage Jesus taught that wealth isn’t wrong but needs to be used in the correct way. The way they can is to set aside a part of their wealth to help the less fortunate. Mark 10: 21 also tends to deliver a similar message of wealth. “Jesus looked at him and loved him. One thing you lack, he said. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” This teaching shows the greed of a Rich Man preferring to put his money and possessions before God. According to Christianity Loving God involves keeping the commandments so the Rich Man was told he should respond to God by caring for people, especially those in needs. In this teaching the Rich Man did not obey the commandments as Jesus had asked because he showed greed by putting himself first and not giving to the less fortunate. We can link this to the concept of Agape Love, which in this quotation the Rich Man was not able to show.
In conclusion there is no clear cut Christian Response for Christians to follow but people should respond to God by caring for each other and that poor have a special place with God. Also that Christians should believe in what Jesus taught of love for others and concern for the weak and they should also follow the example of St Francis Assisi like Monks, Nuns and Friars. Also in Christianity Jesus taught with his words and actions that Love is not just a feeling it has to be put into practice and Agape love was not just a feeling. The situation ethics theory made by Joseph Fletcher also suggests that when helping the less fortunate, Christians should choose the most loving thing to do. Also that It is wrong to live a comfortable life style and enjoy luxuries when there are poor people around who need help. Caring for the poor is the same as caring for Jesus because every life is made in the image of God.