Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jesus and The Spa Treatment

Last Sunday night I spoke at a retirement center near here. One of the seniors quoted Jesus "The poor you will always have with you. . . " and asked if it doesn't all seem a little pointless,  helping poor and homeless folks.

I've had the question before. In the gospel, Jesus was lounging at Lazarus' house, apres-Laz's resurrection. Sister Mary comes in and pours a pint of very expensive oil over Jesus' feet and wipes them with her hair. For this loving act, she is chastised by Judas. Then Jesus says “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.”  He is quoting from Deuteronomy 15

Give generously to (the poor) and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open handed toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

It’s pretty much the opposite of how the verse is used by some.


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