Chapter Six A: Examples of the Teaching of Jesus on Spiritual Poverty

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I have asserted in the reflection just concluded that the gospels in their entirety can be seen as an expression of Jesus’ devotion to Spiritual Poverty.

As a bit of proof, here is a short addendum based on chapter ten of the gospel of Mark, which is the gospel chapter I was contemplating as I wrote the last reflection.  This chapter has multiple passages that could have been quoted and inserted in that reflection.  Instead of doing that, or providing reflections on these passages, I am simply going to present a couple here.

Think of them as a homework assignment.  Pause and consider one of them, or all of them one at a time, and reflect on them in relation to the idea of Spiritual Poverty.  Ask the Holy Spirit to pray with you and help you to understand how they demonstrate different aspects of Jesus’ teaching on Spiritual Poverty. 

The Little Children and Jesus (Mark 10:13-16)

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

The Rich and the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:17-27)

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”  The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

The Request of James and John (Mark 10:35-45)

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”  “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”  “We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Proceed to Chapter Seven: God’s Will in Adversity

Back to Chapter Six: Spiritual Poverty

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