Jesus said, “My wife”

A papyrus fragment from the fourth century contains a phrase in which Jesus refers to “My wife,” which a U.S. scholar says is the first evidence supporting the belief among early Christians that he was married, The fragment consists of eight lines of black ink, written in Coptic, which include the phrase. “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’

The Vatican, however declared that the Coptic manuscript was fake. A tiny fragment could be referring to somebody else. There were hundreds of people named Jesus.

Do we really believe that Jesus Christ is believable and does not lie? Do we follow His teachings because we believe His words are true? His Word is spirit and life. Jesus was the Eternal Word before and after His earthly ministry. He was not just a plain man on the street that can lie. Have you read the supernatural things He did while being a simple man?

If you believe that Jesus Christ was married and had a wife because He said it so; why don’t believe on all His teachings and live by them? Why believe when Jesus said, “My wife” and don’t believe when He said, “I am the Life”.

People are selective on what they believe. They believe on what they think was true. You can think negatively about Jesus and  that is your own personal opinion but that does not mean that it is the Truth. Let us not be hypocrites!

POVERTY

Matt 19:16-21

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked,
“Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

“Why do you ask me about what is good?”
Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good.
If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

“Which ones?” the man inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder,
do not commit adultery,
do not steal,
do not give false testimony,
honor your father and mother,’
and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'”

“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

Jesus answered,

“If you want to be perfect, go,

sell your possessions and give to the poor

and you will have treasure in heaven.

Then come, follow me.”

We can enter life according to Jesus by obeying the commandments. However, perfection would only come through self-denial and sharing your abundance with the poor. Jesus was referring to a person to person movement of goods and services without the fanfare and propaganda of the rich and famous. Give as you will or to whoever you will, possibly not telling your generosity publicly.

There are people who criticize those who are helping the poor. They believe that gospel is solely dedicated for the preaching of the gospel to save souls from sin. They don’t like the ideal of catering the “social gospel” to the needy members of our society.

Jesus has a big heart for the poor. He identified Himself with the poor. Whoever wants to follow Him should love the poor. Do you know who the poor and impoverished people around you? We should give our time and resources to help the poor. Enriching your religious denomination does not always mean you are helping the poor.

It is not enough that we say we love our neighbors. To have a perfect love, we should act accordingly and put action to what we confess that we are like our Master who loves the poor. The following are definitions of poverty from Wikipedia. This may help you find the meaning of poverty. These are not written in Hebrew or Greek, they are written in plain English for us to understand and react to it.

__________________________________________________________________

Poverty is a condition in which a person or community is deprived of, or lacks the essentials for a minimum standard of well-being and life. Since poverty is understood in many senses, these essentials may be material resources such as food, safe drinking water, and shelter, or they may be social resources such as access to information, education, health care, social status, political power, or the opportunity to develop meaningful connections with other people in society.

Poverty may also be defined in relative terms. In this view income disparities or wealth disparities are seen as an indicator of poverty and the condition of poverty is linked to questions of scarcity and distribution of resources and power. Poverty may be defined by a government or organization for legal purposes.

Poverty is also a type of religious vow, a state that may be taken on voluntarily in keeping with practices of piety.

The word “poor” came via Old French from Latin pauper, and the word “poverty” came via Old French from Latin pauperitas. Latin pauper came from pau- = “small” and pario = “I give birth to” and originally would have referred to unproductive farmland or female livestock which failed to breed as much as wanted.

Measuring poverty

Although the most severe poverty is in the developing world, there is evidence of poverty in every region. In developed countries, this condition results in wandering homeless people and poor suburbs and ghettos. Poverty may be seen as the collective condition of poor people, or of poor groups, and in this sense entire nation-states are sometimes regarded as poor. To avoid stigma these nations are usually called developing nations.

When measured, poverty may be absolute or relative poverty. Absolute poverty refers to a set standard which is consistent over time and between countries. An example of an absolute measurement would be the percentage of the population eating less food than is required to sustain the human body (approximately 2000-2500 calories per day).

The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than US$ (PPP) 1 per day, and moderate poverty as less than $2 a day. It has been estimated that in 2001, 1.1 billion people had consumption levels below $1 a day and 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day. The proportion of the developing world’s population living in extreme economic poverty has fallen from 28 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2001. Much of the improvement has occurred in East and South Asia. In Sub-Saharan Africa GDP/capita shrank with 14 percent and extreme poverty increased from 41 percent in 1981 to 46 percent in 2001. Other regions have seen little or no change. In the early 1990s the transition economies of Europe and Central Asia experienced a sharp drop in income. Poverty rates rose to 6 percent at the end of the decade before beginning to recede. There are various criticisms of these measurements.

One third of deaths – some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day – are due to poverty-related causes. That’s 270 million people since 1990, the majority women and children, roughly equal to the population of the US. Every year nearly 11 million children die before their fifth birthday. In 2001, 1.1 billion people had consumption levels below $1 a day and 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day 800 million people go to bed hungry every day. The World Bank’s “Voices of the Poor” , based on research with over 20,000 poor people in 23 countries, identifies a range of factors which poor people consider elements of poverty. Most important are those necessary for material well being, especially food. Many others relate to social rather than material issues.

(Originally published on Wednesday, 21 March 2007)

 

Who is the least?

 

Matthew 25:42-45

 I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat;

I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;

 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in;

naked, and ye clothed me not; sick,

and in prison, and ye visited me not.

 Then shall they also answer, saying,

 Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst,

or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison,

and did not minister unto thee?

 Then shall he answer them, saying,

Verily I say unto you,

 Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of these least, 

ye did it not to me.

Luke 9:46-48

 Then there arose a reasoning among them,

which of them should be greatest.

  And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart,

took a child, and set him by him,

  And said unto them,

Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receives me:

and whosoever shall receive me receives him that sent me:

for he that is least among you all, 

the same shall be great.

Jesus considered the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick or in prison as the LEAST among us. They are the insignificant group of people like a child. They don’t really count as a contributor to the society. People looked at them like rags and eyesore to the civilization. Once again, I say the poor are the least.

Jesus took an ordinary child on the street and set by Him. The child shall be great in His kingdom for he is the LEAST among you all. Jesus Christ always loves to mingle with the sinners, prostitutes, tax-collectors and most of all the poor.

Jesus became poor, not to minister to the healthy and rich. He was anointed to preach the good news to the poor. He was able to communicate with the poor when He lived as one of them. He was rejected as King because His appearance did not match a royal protocol. Christ was crucified like a thief among convicted criminals.

Jesus supported John the Baptist for what he stands for. John lived in the wilderness by himself, eating a weird diet and very lowly lifestyle. He was poor and simple man without political connection. The government was against him because of his revolutionary message of change and repentance.

Jesus asked John to baptise Him. Why John? He wanted to identify himself with the least and unpopular. John was beheaded because of his conviction and Jesus knew that He is risking His life by supporting the ministry of John the Baptist. Jesus is not a good politician but good leader. Our Lord was the least of all great men and became the greatest man ever lived on earth.

 

 

The “Middle Class”

The “poor” Jesus meant was the hungry, penniless and homeless. They are the oppressed people of the ruling government and religious leaders of their time. They are faceless neglected people of the world without political affiliation, victims of severe poverty. The poor become poorer while the rich become richer, the cycle never ends.

The poor are the blind, blinded people by the politicians who pretended as one of them. They are also sheep without shepherd. People without true leader-servants like a blind leading the blinds. Blind leaders do not see the disaster facing them, thus eventually falling into the ditch.

Jesus came to give hope to the poor which was the primary reason of His mission. He came to heal the brokenhearted, broken because of poverty and sin. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. The lost are the poor who are the insignificant sector of the society especially in the third world countries.

The “Middle Class” in the United States is the upper class in other countries. The American middle class should be ashamed of themselves if they would claim that they are the poor because they are not. The “Middle class” is the working class and  not the poor which is the lowest class of our society. Our middle class are usually the prized herds of all political groups who uses them for political purposes.

If we think of salvation, the Kingdom of God is for the poor and not for the rich or well to do. Does Jesus condone poverty? He does not favor poverty over abundant life. He came to preach the truth of liberating us from the miseries of life. The rich will enter the Kingdom of God like a rope going through the eye of the needle. They have to give up their riches for the cause of the poor. Review the gospel of Christ and we would see how He treated the poor, the sick and the hopeless.

Don’t be jealous of the poor. Remember the parable of the prodigal son. The father treated the lost son well because he was “dead” as poor man but came back home alive in total repentance of his bad decision of leaving home. Blessed are the poor for theirs is the Kingdom of God.

How can we eat at the same table with the poor when only one side of the table has the spread of food and while on the other side has nothing at all? Are we not going to share what we have to the have-nots? Where is the “loving your neighbor as yourself” teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ?