Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Poor have the Good News Preached to Them

Then one from the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." But he said, "Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" Then he looked at his disciples and said, "I am not an arbitrator, am I?" And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of greed, for one's live does not consist in the abundance of possessions." (Luke 12:13-15, Thomas 1:72)

And when He was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked him, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said unto him, "Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor thy father and thy mother." And he answered and said unto him, "Master, all these things I have observed from my youth." Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, "One thing you lack. Go your way, sell everything you have, and give to the poor, and then you shall have treasure in heaven. And then come, prepared take up the cross, and follow me." And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had many possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and said unto his disciples, "How difficult it is for those that have riches to enter into the kingdom of God!" And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again, and said unto them, "Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." And they were astonished beyond measure, discussing these words among themselves. And then Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, questioned Jesus, saying, "Who then can be saved?" And Jesus looking upon them said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." Then Kaipha began to say unto him, "Behold, we have left everything, and have followed you." And Jesus answered and said, "Verily I say unto you, there is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life." (Mark 10:17-30). And Jesus said unto them, "Verily I say unto you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). But many that are first shall be last; and the last first (Mark 10:31)."

Jesus spoke to those who had gathered round about Him and said unto them, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moths and rust corrupt and thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither rust or moths corrupt nor thieves break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21). What shall it profit a man to inherit the world and lose his soul-and what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26, Mark 8:36, Luke 9:25) The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in very great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy in regarding money, the mammon of iniquity, who will trust you with true wealth? (Luke 16:10-11) If you are not trustworthy with that which belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters, he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Luke 16:12-13)." (Mammon is an Aramaic word meaning evil money.)

Some of the Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and mocked him. And he said to them, "You are they who justify yourselves in the sight of men; but God knows your hearts, for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:14-15).

And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, "What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my increase?" And he said, "This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones; and there will I store all my increase and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry." But God said unto him, 'Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:16-21).

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, "Blessed are you who are poor: for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are you that weep now: for you shall laugh. Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake.  Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets (Luke 16:20-23). But woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation.  Woe unto you that are full! For you shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For you shall mourn and weep.  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets (Luke 6:24-26). Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38). Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than raiment?  Behold the birds of the air: for they don't plant seed, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take thought for clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even King Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Therefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, "What shall we eat?" or, "What shall we drink?" or, "Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" (For after all these things do those who don't know God seek after.) For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.  But seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matthew 6:25-34). Fear not, little children. It is my Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). But why do you call me, "Lord, Lord," and don't do the things which I say? Whosoever comes to me, and hears my sayings, and does them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the floods beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that hears, but doesn't listen, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the floods did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was very great." (Luke 6:46-49, Matthew 8:24-27).

He also spoke unto them this parable, "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said unto his keeper of the vineyard, "Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit from this fig tree and have found none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?" But he answered and said unto him, "Sir, let it alone this year also. Until I dig around it and fertilize it. Thus if it bears fruit, it is all well. If not, after that you may cut it down." (Luke 13:6-9).

No comments: