10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.
Jesus makes a very sad statement in this passage. You could argue it is prophetic in nature though I think that misses the point.
‘For you have the poor with you always’
There will always be the poor on this earth until sin is finally done away with. There will always be inequality, hierarchies, the oppressed and the underprivileged. In the last few years, our current state aside, has been some of the most privileged and abundant in earth’s history.
Never have so many lived so well. We have more millionaires and billionaires than ever before. Inflation was at an all-time low, jobs were plentiful and people were relatively happy. Yet, even with all that, poverty and hunger thrived as well. We had enough food for everyone but people starved. People were taking million dollar vacations into outer space but people still were living on the streets. We could send billions on Olympics and World Cups but people were desperate that they were still selling sons and daughter to try and stay alive.
These last few decades of prosperity has proven Jesus’ words. We will always have the poor.
That doesn’t mean that we can’t help. That doesn’t mean we can’t reduce the pain and suffering in this world, even if it’s just a little bit. We can feed one person and reduce the total number by one. If every Adventist were to help one person, we could help over 18 million people from their misery.
It’s easy to get discouraged by the shear amount of help that is needed but let’s stay focused. Let us help as many as we can. We can do it individually and we can do it collectively. Help those ministries in the church that are helping others. A little help can go a long way.
And of course, when we help someone with their needs, many will also then desire help spiritually as well. That of course was always Jesus’ method.
Pr. Steven Couto