By YuriArcursPeopleimages

Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 26 that the poor will always be with you, having just said in Matthew 22 to love our neighbours as ourselves, and in even clearer detail in Matthew 25 about how in the final days God will judge us on how we treat people.

Throughout His life on earth, Jesus modelled what He taught by intentionally looking out for opportunities to include society’s outcasts.

He ate meals with the tax collectors, prostitutes and poor, while simultaneously facing criticism and confusion from His fellow Jews.

Jesus was consistent in what He said and what He did. In this part of the story we are working through, Nehemiah develops a bout of ‘righteous anger’ (v6) in response to the behaviour of some of the entitled and wealthy Jews.

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They are charging interest on loans they should never have given to the poorest in their community and then selling them into slavery when they are unable to repay the loan.

The story of the Gospel is that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard (Rom. 3:23), that everyone needs saving, and that Father God does not see any of His children as better or more important than any other.

But humans are wired for self-centredness and will often take any opportunity to assume power and wealth for themselves to ensure comfort and safety, even if it costs others.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, sorry when I put the needs of my family and myself before those who have so little. Help me to live a generous life, one that puts others’ needs before my own. Amen’

An Action To Take:
Try and consider carefully your attitudes to the poor and needy. Do you put yourself before others? Make a donation to a charity that supports the poor.

Scripture To Consider:
Deut. 15:1–11; Matt. 22:34–40 & 26:6–13; Rom. 3:21–26

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.