Ten Theological Truths about Poverty and the Poor from the Life of Jesus
The class I’m taking at Fuller this quarter is on Poverty and Development, and one of the exercises I did one day was to reflect on some portion of scripture and talk about how poverty and the poor were addressed. I decided to focus on the life of Jesus, and here are some of the theological truths that came to my mind as I reflected on poverty and the poor from the life of Jesus.
- Jesus came to bring Good News to the poor, not just the poor in spirit.
- The Good News is more than just a personal sense of forgiveness, but new economic realities, new social realities and new political realities.
- The Good News is not just for another time and another place, but for the here and now, for the kingdom of God is at hand.
- We are to pray that God’s kingdom would be more fully realized here on earth, and if we are praying in faith, we must have actions that follow.
- The Good News Jesus came to bring was not just forgiveness of sins, but liberation from sin. Not just personal sin, but social sins – injustices, discrimination and domination.
- Jesus subverts the status quo by challenging the interpretation and practice of the purity and debt code.
- Jesus blesses the poor, hungry and weeping and challenges the rich, well feed and those who laugh.
- When we care for the prisoner (usually one was in prison because of debt), the unclothed and the hungry, we care for Jesus.
- What we do or don’t do for the poor and oppressed will be decisive on judgment day.
- If our gospel isn’t good news for the poor, then it is not the same good news that Jesus came to proclaim.