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What did Jesus say about Giving to the Poor

What did Jesus say about Giving to the Poor

Jesus spoke about giving to the poor on several occasions, emphasizing the importance of generosity and care for the less fortunate as expressions of God’s love and the values of the Kingdom of Heaven. Here are some relevant Bible verses:

  1. The Rich Young Man (Matthew 19:21): Jesus told the rich young man, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” . This highlights the idea that following Jesus involves a radical reorientation of one’s life towards generosity and care for the poor.
  2. The Widow’s Offering (Mark 12:43-44): Jesus commended the poor widow who put in two small copper coins into the offering box, saying, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” . This passage illustrates the value Jesus places on the heart and sacrifice behind giving, rather than the amount given.
  3. The Judgment (Matthew 25:35-40): In His teaching on the final judgment, Jesus identifies Himself with the needy: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (not directly quoted but summarized from the teachings). He explains that serving those in need is equivalent to serving Him directly, underscoring the importance of practical acts of kindness and charity towards the poor as part of living out one’s faith.

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. Generosity as a Mark of True Discipleship: Jesus teaches that genuine following of Him involves a willingness to give up one’s possessions and prioritize the needs of the poor, reflecting a heart transformed by God’s love.
  2. The Value of Sacrificial Giving: The emphasis on the widow’s offering teaches that the significance of a gift is not in its size but in the sacrificial love it represents. True generosity is measured by what it costs the giver, demonstrating a heart of trust and dependence on God.
  3. Serving Jesus Through Serving Others: Jesus’ identification with the needy instructs His followers that acts of kindness and charity towards the poor are not just moral duties but are sacred opportunities to serve Christ Himself. The way we respond to the needs of the less fortunate is a direct reflection of our relationship with Jesus.

These teachings underscore the central role of compassion, mercy, and generosity in the life of a disciple of Jesus, challenging followers to live out their faith through practical, loving action towards those in need.


  • Greg Gaines

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