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Acrylic on Canvas, Prints Available
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.'” (John 6:35)
(This piece was done for “The Face of Compassion” Art Exhibition 2009, sponsored by Compassion International)
All human suffering ultimately comes from sin, and Jesus is the only one who has power to set the world free from sin. Jesus alone is the sin-soaked world’s answer to the fundamental needs and deepest cries of every human soul. He is the only one who can fully redeem and restore mankind back into fellowship with God and back into our intended place of abundant, eternal life.
While physical relief and aid is definitely an extension of God’s love to these people, I believe lasting manifest victory over poverty and over all of the world’s other ills ultimately lies in Jesus transforming people through the gospel of salvation. And as he transforms individuals, he transforms societies. This is why I believe the gospel is the most powerful weapon we have against poverty, for poverty is the physical fruit of a spiritual problem. If we withhold the gospel from people to whom we are administering physical aid, then all we do is make them a little better fed, a little more comfortable and a little better educated on their way to eternal torment, for God has said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven [Jesus] given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NIV).
Compassion International’s holistic approach in ministering to both the spiritual and physical needs of children encompasses the fullness of what Jesus taught and practiced. This painting reflects Compassion’s ministry. Jesus, who is symbolically “the bread of life” (John 6:35), is both spiritually and physically sustaining this African child. The Western woman, just like Jesus’ disciples in the feeding of the 5000 (John 6) has a full basket of God’s provisions and is distributing them to this needy child. This symbolizes our role of bringing children to Jesus and extending both the gospel and physical aid to the needy.