The Poor in the Old and New Testaments
One of the major points Christ Jesus preached was His love to the poor. How is the word "poor" used in the Gospels?
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Matthew 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
Matthew 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Mark 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
Mark 12:43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
Mark 14:5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
Mark 14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Luke 7:22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Luke 21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
Luke 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
John 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
John 13:29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.There are not so many sentences related to the word "poor" in the four gospels, but they clearly show the essence of teaching of Christ Jesus.
In the Old Testaments, there are also many sentences including the word of poor. For example, in Psalms:
Psalms 9:18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.So, Christ Jesus observed the tradition of Judaism practiced in the era of the Old Testament. The old Judaism was based on ethics and compassion upon the poor. This feature must be rare to be found in ancient religions most of which simply glorified greatness and praised glory of gods and kings.
Psalms 10:2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
Psalms 10:8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
Psalms 10:9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
Psalms 10:10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
Psalms 10:14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
Psalms 12:5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
Psalms 14:6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
Psalms 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalms 35:10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
Psalms 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
Psalms 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
Psalms 41:1 Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
Psalms 49:2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
Psalms 68:10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.
Psalms 69:29 But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
Psalms 69:33 For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
Psalms 70:5 But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.
Psalms 72:2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
Psalms 72:4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
Psalms 72:12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
Psalms 72:13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
Psalms 74:19 O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.
Psalms 74:21 O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.
Psalms 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Psalms 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
Psalms 86:1 Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
Psalms 107:41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.
Psalms 109:16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
Psalms 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
Psalms 109:31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.
Psalms 112:9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
Psalms 113:7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
Psalms 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.
Psalms 140:12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
In other words, God chose old Judaism for this reason and sent His Son, Christ Jesus, to Jewish people. Love to the poor must have been a measure of God's judgement when He chose a tribe as His own people. But when Jewish people lost this love, God sent His Son, Christ Jesus, to the Jewish community to make them restore this love to the poor.
Social injustice and evil are concentrated in poor people. The reason for Christ Jesus to have appeared among Jewish people must have been to restore love to the poor rather than for any other religious reasons.
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Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Mat 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.