Practical Proverbial, from Galatians, 3 February 2022. Today’s topic: Remember the Poor

James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.  All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.  Galatians 2:9-10 (NIV).

Jesus Himself reminded us that humanity would always have ‘the poor.’  If God Immanuel says it, then count on it happening.   More than war, more than inequality, more than lawlessness, even more than death itself, perhaps the worst, gravest problem in the world is poverty.  It has been present since the first family ever went hungry.   The more humanity concentrates in urban areas, the worse poverty becomes.  Along with poverty comes crime, and hopelessness, gangs, broken families, and a host of other ills.   Poverty may not be the cause of those things, but, at best, it can make them much worse.  All the other problems of the human race can be solved, or at least addressed, or are short-term.   Poverty is a pervasive constant.

Jesus knew poverty.   By our 21st century standard, Jesus was third-world destitute.   We assume Jesus’ family would have been at least solvent, because Joseph was a skilled tradesman; that they would have at least steady work, food, shelter.   It may not have been opulent, but it might have been enough.   Yet, to be frank, this is just speculation.   Other than a few vignettes, we know nothing of Jesus’ upbringing.  It could have been that Jesus, like so many of the rest of the poor, went to bed hungry, went around barely clothed.

Even if He didn’t grow up poor, Jesus knew the poor all around Him.   He saw their vast numbers, and how eager their hearts were for food:  food of the soul and food for the body.  Perhaps that’s why He spent so much of His ministry living with, teaching, healing those who were poor.   Indeed, while dying on the Cross, Jesus spoke to John, asking him to provide for His mother, in part so she would not descend further into poverty of soul or stomach.

It isn’t surprising that, in the middle of starting up the (one-day) worldwide church, Jesus charged His disciples to remember the poor.   To be His hands in providing food, and homes, and clothing, and hope.  To trust that He would furnish the means when they furnished the willingness.   Thus, it’s also not surprising that Peter, James, and John, the church’s leaders, asked Paul to always remember the poor of spirit and body, and work for them in his faraway journeys.   We must do the same.

For further reading: Matthew 26:11, Mark 14:7, Acts 24:17, Galatians 2:11

Lord Jesus, use me today to work for the poor, to serve You by serving others.

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Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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