For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him ... that he should give something to the poor.
~ John 13:29 (NKJV)
John's Gospel describes that twice in one week, Jesus' disciples express concern for the poor (above, and when Mary pours expensive perfume on Jesus). It may be surmised that Jesus had both taught and demonstrated such manner of kindness toward the destitute, though He and his disciples were themselves destitute. (See Mark 10:28, Matthew 17:27, Luke 9:58)
As an itinerant Prophet, Jesus often relied upon the kindness and hospitality of others. If some of His disciples criticized Mary for "wasting" a costly flask of oil, perhaps they harbored resentment for those times they went hungry after giving to others from their purse. Or perhaps they had yet to appreciate the proverb Jesus surely esteemed:
He who shows favor to the poor lends to the LORD,
And He will pay back what he has given.
~ Proverbs 19:17
God's payback may or may not include a payback in kind. But God's payback is sure to include all manner of spiritual treasure. We both "lay up treasure in Heaven" for the future, and we reap what we sow here and now. Whatever our material possessions or savings in a bank vault, we ourselves are the vault in which Jesus keeps His Holy Spirit. We become wellsprings of treasure as we make regular deposits of God's Word into our hearts.
Showing favor (Hebrew chânan) to the "poor" may include far more than a monetary handout. It means that we, who are destitute of time, still give of our time. It means that we, who sorrow, give comfort. It means that we, who fall short of being Christlike, lavish patience and love upon those who are not Christlike, as God lavishes upon us.
Holy Spirit, please open our eyes to see opportunities for spiritual investments and loans. Please make our interest grow where we invest our hearts. Please give us patience as we wait for Your payback time.
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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