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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Life on the Margins: Blessed are the poor

Blessed are you who are poor,

for yours is the kingdom of God.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” ~ Luke 9:57-58

Don’t laugh folks: Jesus was a poor man. ~ Poor People's Campaign Sign, 1968

The Bible tells us that Jesus had no place to lay his head (Luke 9:58), which is another way to say he was homeless. ~ Jessica C. Williams, Poor People's' Campaign

In the Roman world where Jesus lived, wealth was stripped from conquered people by the Roman overlords. People were sold into slavery. Hunger, homelessness, and starvation were common.

Jesus came from the working class and left his home and his training as a carpenter to become a wandering preacher who depended on the hospitality of friends and strangers.

So when Jesus says the poor are blessed - when he tells them of God's love for them - he does in solidarity with them. He is one of them.

He had no home. He had only the kindness that was extended to him by others.

Questions for thought: What does it mean to you to think of Jesus as poor? As homeless? Have you thought of him that way before? How does that affect how you see a poor or homeless person?

Pray: Spend time praying to God about seeing Christ in the homeless.

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