This is an “un-perfect” explanation of something which has multiple layers. But here is a basic overview of the “best” way to understand the things Jesus said in the Gospels. [This was originally a Facebook post I made, so it is written like one]
Some believe the gospels are superior to anything else in the New Testament. And others believe the “red writing” is even more superior. However, because Jesus came to the “Jew first” it must be understood that the gospels in particular are very Jewish. Therefore, to understand what Jesus is saying in them one must know first, or very well, the Old Testament. Since Jesus came to fulfill the Law and prophets. And came to “interpret” the Law to the Jewish people. Next, if one desires to understand the implications of the gospel for the “Jewish/Gentile Christian” then one must read and understand the Epistles, since they are the “interpretation” of the gospels and of the New Covenant for the believer, by the Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost to “lead us into all the truth.”
Simply: the gospels are the interpretation and fulfillment of the Old Testament. And the Epistles are the interpretation and fulfillment of the gospels. Let me use one very misunderstood passage in the gospels to explain what I mean: “…And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matt. 25:33-40).
We all know what He said to those on His left. If you were an Israelite or a student of the Old Testament you would immediately recall various places throughout the Old Testament where God sovereignly used, by His grace, other nations and peoples who were not of Israel to help, or provide, or come alongside Israel. Some helped King David when he was fleeing from Saul, or when he or other kings needed help, or with building the Temple, or with military help, or provisions. Some came to “support” Israel, and what about King Cyrus from Babylon. Anyway, here is the interpretation: Those who in the past, and present, that have come along side to support (first, according to context) the persecuted Jewish Christians. And (second, according to God’s plan) the persecuted Gentile Christians who are in prison (for the gospel, being persecuted), or are homeless, or naked, or hungry and thirsty, etc. For the sake of the gospel (in other words Jesus’ brothers and sisters) being the “least” and despised of the world for the sake of Christ. And vice versa, regarding those who do not, and have not “loved” the suffering Christians in the world.
So, this is not a message about “helping the poor and least” of the world, but about supporting the Body-of-Christ who suffers. In fact, we are to “first” aid one another as Chrisitan’s. Our financial help is to go first to other Christian’s who struggle, and after that, to those of the world. For the world will “know us by our love…for each other.”