In our work with the poor, we learned a hard truth: Jesus didn’t bring good news to those who serve the poor from a secure position in life; he brought good news to the poor. He has nothing to say to other saviors who compete with him for the position of Messiah. He brings a message for those who recognize themselves as poor, naked, hurt, tired, overburdened, needy, and hopeless. For the rest, he has little to offer. The only way to remain with the poor is to recognize ourselves, however well we are disguised, in the suffering neighbor before our eyes.

When their misery reflects our own need to be healed and restored, then Jesus can help us.