Jesus as a bhikshu- one who is in need of others for his living.......for Sunday Shalom news paper.
God and the poor
The Bible is full of God’s demands on behalf of the poor. Isaiah 58:6 onwards talks about loosing chains of injustice, freeing the oppressed, sharing food with the hungry, sheltering the homeless and clothing the naked. Micah 6:8 calls for a just and merciful life. In the Psalms, God uses many words in connection with the poor that suggest they are high on his agenda.
Defend - Psalm 10:18
Give - Psalm 146:7
Fill - Psalm 107:9
Stand - Psalm 109:31
Raise - Psalm 113:7
Lift - Psalm 113:7
Justice - Psalm 140:12
1. HEART OF GOD
A concern for the poor is at the very centre of who God is; you could say it is at the very ‘heart of God’. Not simply in terms of his love, as we often refer to the heart, but also in his actions - the heart is a ‘doing’ organ after all! Someone whose feelings don't lead to outcomes is often referred to as half-hearted. God’s heart simply overflows with love in action in the Old Testament, and doesn’t stop in the New…
Colossians 1:15 describes Jesus as the visible likeness of an invisible God. In which case you’d expect him to have his father's heart for his people. Jesus was the ultimate demonstration of feelings in action. From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus makes it clear that he is the Messiah and the evidence of this will be seen in the transformation of the lives of the poor, outcast and marginalised.
'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.' (Luke 4:18-19).
That's all great but what about us? Well, the scary thing is that Jesus' pre-departure left us with this challenge:
'I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these' (John 14:12 ).
So it’s clear then - God has a heart for the poor. Jesus expresses this through his life of action and we are called to do even more on his behalf. Getting involved with Tearfund is one way you can take part in God’s mission to his world.