Poor Jesus

Even when life doesn’t make sense, we can trust our good and loving heavenly Father

Luke 2:22-24

The apostle Paul says Jesus was rich. Of course. He was God, after all. But it’s not that God has a fat bank account or lives on a private island. So perhaps Paul means “rich” in some other way. And when he says Jesus became poor, does that mean “poor” in some other way, some unusual way?

Luke describes a time when the whole family went to Jerusalem. Jesus was about six weeks old. It was time for Mary to offer a pair of post-childbirth sacrifices at the temple. The usual offerings were a lamb and a pigeon (or maybe a dove). But instead Mary offered either “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” And that was okay, because there was a special allowance for families that couldn’t afford a lamb. So Joseph and Mary and Jesus must have been poor—in the usual way.

I wonder what that meant for Jesus. I wonder what he experienced growing up poor.

One thing that often goes with poverty is food insecurity. Plenty of people go to bed hungry. Maybe you do. Did Jesus know that kind of hunger, the hunger that comes from not having enough food, that comes from being poor? Is that why he taught his disciples to pray for “daily bread”—because in his experience, hunger was never far away? I wonder.

Jesus, you know what it means to be poor and hungry. You know what some of us know very well, but that many of us can only imagine. No wonder we’re hungry for you. Amen.

Bible References

22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

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ETS (English) | 02.12.2022 Revelation 12:1-6

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