Just a few Bible quotes and observations about the poor. All the quotes are from the King James version. Highlights are added and not from the source.
8:34: And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
8:35: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
8:36: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
8:37: Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
10:17: And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
10:18: And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
10:19: Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
10:20: And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
10:21: Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
10:22: And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
10:23: And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
10:24: And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
10:25: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
12:28: And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
12:29: And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
12:30: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
12:31: And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
12:41: And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
12:42: And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
12:43: And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
12:44: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
25:31: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
25:32: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
25:33: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
25:34: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
25:35: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
25:36: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
25:37: Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
25:38: When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
25:39: Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
25:40: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me1.
25:41: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
25:42: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
25:43: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
25:44: Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
25:45: Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
25:46: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
4:18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor2; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
4:19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
14:12: Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
14:13: But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14:14: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
14:15: And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
14:16: Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
14:17: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
14:18: And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
14:19: And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
14:20: And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
14:21: So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
14:22: And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
14:23: And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
14:24: For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
16:19: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
16:20: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
16:21: And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
16:22: And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
16:23: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
16:24: And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
16:25: But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
3:17: But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him3?
3:18: My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Given these few among many Biblical quotes from Jesus regarding compassion, aid for the poor, and for the least among us, how is it that I so frequently see those that call themselves (evangelical) Christians act with such disdain, scorn, and rejection of the poor—particularly the homeless—showing the least compassion and the most ridicule? They blame the poor and homeless for their condition—very clearly a distinctly non-Christ like behavior.
And what about the refugee or immigrant (legal or otherwise)? Often they are poor and persecuted in their home country or land. What would Jesus advise our Christian Americans? I can not find any passage, parable or example that suggests Jesus would refuse them admittance or use them as a tool to make a point (like sending them to "sanctuary" cities). Seems clear to me from these many passages that Jesus would "love them as himself" and treat them with the requisite kindness by offering food, shelter and comfort.
These modern day Christians seem to think that the circumstances of the poor are completely of their own doing and therefore not worthy of compassion, aid, and support. I can find nothing from Jesus regarding this disdainful viewpoint. I have not found any Bible references to Jesus asking for payment, checking credit, or requiring a copay. None where he required the poor to seek a job before they receive aid. How did Christians get so judgemental of the poor? How are they able to call themselves "Christian" when they demonstrate none of the values of Christ?
I find it so hard to understand the dominate current day Christian attitude of scorn for poor people (including any "others" e.g., homosexuals, immigrants, refugees, Latinos, blacks) when the Bible is full of stories all about defeating such scorn with love and loving treatment.
Just for good measure, one more quote, this time from the old testament ...
10:1: Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;
10:2: To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!
1 This might be the clearest, shortest and most direct statement from Jesus on the subject. If you do it to the least then you are doing it to me. Treat the poor as you would treat Jesus.↵
2 Note that "poor" here is a translation from the original Greek "ptochos." In Roman society at the time this would have meant the poor that were made so by exploitation. Luke could have used other words for poor but chose this one. Seems targeted right at today's Christians that fight against government social safety nets for the poor and support exploitative structures in our society.↵
3 For those calling themselves Christians, how is it possible to treat the poor so badly and expect to have the love of God in you?↵