What Jesus Did! 'Putting Poverty in Perspective' — John 12:7-8

Sunday, August 21, 2022

[When Judas said the expensive perfume Mary used to anoint Jesus should have been sold and the money given to the poor,] Jesus replied, "Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."
— John 12:7-8 NLT

Key Thought

Scripture is clear: We are to help the poor, feed the hungry, and care for widows, orphans, and aliens among us. At the same time, we may have questions about our decisions. How should we give? What do we give specifically and graciously to help the poor among us? What do we give to support other facets of the Lord's work generously and extravagantly? Each is important. Each can honor God. So let's not be critical of those who give extravagantly to any of God's work. God knows the hearts of the givers, and we need to rejoice in their generosity to honor him. Even more, we all need to be generous with the Lord and those in need! After all, Jesus himself reminds us that how we use our blessings is important and that we are actually caring for him when we care for those less fortunate! [1]

[1] Matthew 25.

Today's Prayer

Loving and gracious Father, mold my heart to be more like yours. Bless me with graciousness, generosity, thankfulness, and a forgiving spirit. Open my eyes to all that Jesus has done, is doing, and will do for me so that I will more freely share with others my love, possessions, money, and time. In Jesus' name and because of Jesus' love, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Corinthians 8:7
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
  • Matthew 25:31-40


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Illustration of John 12:7-8 NLT — "Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.