The Poor You Will Always Have

    Mark 14:7, Matthew 26:11, and John 12:8 are three gospel accounts of Jesus declaring that the disciples would have the poor among them “always”. And normally this verse has always been a highlighter on my thoughts that the poor will be around until Jesus cones back. On occasion it makes me think about the need for missions in the poverty stricken regions of the world. That always seemed like the crux of the verse.
    My analysis is supported by the old testament verse Deuteronomy 15:11. There we see that the Israelite nation is instructed to be “open handed” toward their neighbors.
    But as I was driving down the road this morning I saw a lady with a cardboard sign asking for money. I was conflicted in that moment about stopping and speaking with her or continuing on my way to church. It was in that moment that I remembered that verse and got a completely different perspective on it.
    Jesus spoke to the eternal while in the moment. And it seems to me that there is a more eternal message wrapped in the words he spoke to his disciples. The woman in this story has come to worship Jesus in the best way she can. And Jesus’ shortsighted disciples were just like me in that moment. “This could have been sold and used in an outreach”, I imagine myself saying to Jesus. But Jesus uses this as a teachable moment.
Worship supercedes missions.
What a thought! The idea that Jesus actually prefers that I stop sometimes and make Him my mission. To gaze at Him in all of His splendor and be awed. To minister to His heart and be ministered to.
So now before I jump the gun about getting out and doing outreach I have a reminder to stop and remember why we do what we do in the first place.


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