Faith & Life

What Jesus says about the poor

I am taking time out of a very busy day to write this post, because it’s important to me and I have felt anxious that I have not been able to express my thoughts.

I am not going to reference any specific posts (you  have likely seen them), but over the course of the last several weeks, I have seen articles of varying degrees related to the Christian perspective of the poor.

Many of the questions that have been raised include: Who are qualified as the poor? Who should be able to serve the poor? Why do we care about the poor?

In response, I am not going to get on my soapbox. Instead, I am going to point to God’s Word and specifically what Jesus says to us about the poor.

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3
  • The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. – Matthew 11:5
  • Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21
  • “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” – Matthew 26:9
  • The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. – Matthew 26:11
  • 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. Then come, follow me.”  – Mark 10:21
  • But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. – Mark 12:42
  • Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. – Mark 12:43
  • It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to thepoor.” And they rebuked her harshly. – Mark 14:5
  • The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. – Mark 14:7
  •  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, – Luke 4:18
  • Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. – Luke 6:20
  • So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. – Luke 7:22
  • But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. – Luke 11:41
  • Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. – Luke 12:33
  • But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind… – Luke 14:13
  • “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ – Luke 14:21
  • When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Luke 18:22
  • But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” – Luke 19:8
  • He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. – Luke 21:2
  •  “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. – Luke 21:3
  •  “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” – John 12:5
  • He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. – John 12:6
  • You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” – John 12:8
  • Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. – John 13:29

I think Jesus says all we need to hear and makes it clear that we will always have the poor and we are to care for them. I wish I had seen these verses in the articles I have read, but I have not.

I hope these verses come up more often in conversation in the future.

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