The Gospels record Jesus saying, “The poor you will always have with you. But you will not always have me” (Matthew 26:11, Mark 14:7, and John 12:8). The report in John adds the phrase “and you can help them any time you want”.
Shane Claiborne believes that Jesus spoke these words knowing the hardness of hearts which would not show the compassion necessary to meet the needs of the poor. Others say that poverty is not the focus here. Jesus is expressing the limited time He had remaining on earth prior to the crucifixion.
Deuteronomy 15:11 says “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”
Proverbs 29:7 says “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
What are we doing, as the body of Christ, to meet the needs of those around us?