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Poverty in the Gospel of Matthew
Whitney Blackon 12 November 2012
Transcript of Poverty in the Gospel of Matthew
One of the three synoptic gospels
First book of the New Testament
Tells the story of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection Overview of Matthew Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 5:3 Matthew 5:3 Matthew 6:19-24 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man a called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, "'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." -Matthew 9:9-13 Matthew 9:9-13 Matthew 25:34-40 Spiritual wealth instead of material wealth Matthew, Wealth, & Poverty State of dependence
Conscious of spiritual need Spiritual wealth
Truth in Christ
Treasure/heart Tax Collectors in the First Century Despised by public
Gathered funds for the rich
Jesus asks Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him Interpreting the Verse Pharisees don't understand why Jesus associates with tax collectors
If he is meant to be a teacher, why must he associate with the sinners?
Jesus answers "those who are well have no need of a physician..."
He is there to help those who need guidance, not those who are already virtuous. Jesus' Views on Wealth Jesus interprets wealth in a different way than we might today.
He viewed wealth as being rich in spirit--not rich in owning physical goods.
The poor, though they may lack money, could still be rich in his eyes if they followed his father, and cared for others.
Matthew, though a tax collector and a sinner, could still be rich in spirit if he followed the example of his teacher.
His money is not what would make him rich, but his faith. Those on the King's right side: The righteous “sheep” who helped the poor during their lives.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” - Jesus' call to serve the poor
Symbolism: Without realizing it, by helping the poor, they were indirectly serving Jesus.
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”: By giving their material wealth to the poor during their time on earth, they were earning an eternal “inheritance” in heaven for the afterlife.
The opposite happens to those who ignored poor people during their lives and refused to give anything to them: “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Main theme/lesson: “How can I serve God?” Serve others. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and were thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Interpretation Material goods can be taken from you, but you control your heart.
Heavenly treasures come from your heart such as loving your neighbor as yourself and the fruits of the spirit.
Money can become an idol, but as Jesus points out God can be our only master. Application Material goods perish with us.
Jesus' teachings focus on helping other people.
Dividing loyalty is unhealthy and damages relationships. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you visited me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.' -Matthew 25:34-50