John 12:8 – April 6, 2020

You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me. John 12:8 NABRE          

John tells the story of Jesus being anointed by Mary the sister of Lazarus whom Jesus has raised from the dead. Jesus is having meal with Lazarus when Mary comes to anoint Him with an expensive oil. Judas, the one who betrays Jesus, protests that this oil is expensive and could be used to sell and give the money to the poor. Jesus rebukes Judas harshly saying to leave Mary alone, let her keep this for Jesus burial. The word is out the religious leaders are looking for a reason to have Jesus arrested and condemned to death, Jesus knows his life will come to an end soon. He speaks to them about the poor which comes from a passage in Deuteronomy, “The land will never lack for needy persons; that is why I command you: ‘Open your hand freely to your poor and to your needy kin in your land.’” (15:11) The poor come to us for help, for a mouthful of food, or some clothing or a place to live; how we respond says all God needs to know about us.  While we may not be poor we still have needs and we usually turn to God for help. How we respond to the poor is likely how God will respond to us. Jesus is not highlighting the poor here other than to say He has more need now than even those who are poor. It is likely He is feeling quite vulnerable and Mary’s act of love has a soothing and settling peace that comes over Jesus. It also indicates she understands what is coming while Jesus own disciples seem to be unaware of how the week will end, Jesus crucified and they themselves hiding out of fear.

In this one verse we hear we must always take care of the poor. We can also see a relationship with Jesus is shared, He loves everyone, we can trust in His love.

Do you treat the poor as you wish to be treated by God? Are you jealous of other’s relationship with Jesus?

The poor come to us for help, for a mouthful of food, or some clothing or a place to live; how we respond says all God needs to know about us. While we may not be poor we still have needs and we usually turn to God for help. Click To Tweet

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