Gospel News · June - August 2012

Vol. 24
No. 3
Songhor Ecclesia (Kenya)
Our need to respond to "the poor" is one of the Bible's major themes. But our cash crazy society seems to have persuaded many of us that we fulfil Bible teaching about giving to the poor by giving them money. And if we're not wealthy--then all the talk about generosity to the poor is irrelevant to us, indeed, we may even be tempted to consider that our wealthier brethren have a duty to give us some cash. The early converts of Jesus were materially poor --and yet He told them in His opening manifesto in Matthew 5-7 of their need to give to the poor. There is the implication that
it is the poor for whom the Gospel is intended, and it is they who will respond to it. And yet the teaching of Jesus was clearly that those who respond to the Gospel should give to "the poor". We must re-examine what He meant by "the poor".
Whilst He wasn't unmindful of the materially "poor", Jesus begins His explanation of the Kingdom life by defining the "poor" as "the poor in spirit" (Mt. 5:3). It's as if He began His ministry by defining who are "the poor" of whom He would have so much to say; He applied the term to the mentally broken, the spiritually needy. Luke. 4:18