'What I am going to say next will come as a shock to some, but here it is. You can eliminate every single thing Jesus ever said in his life about the poor and social justice, and still you will not undermine his main message one bit. As severe as that may sound, this is precisely what one of Christ's closest followers actually did.
The Gospel of John is the last biography written on Jesus and it came to us from the last surviving apostle, the "beloved" disciple John, a member of Jesus' inner circle. Many think it the most elegant summary and most definitive statement of who Jesus was and what he came to do. Yet you can read from John's first sentence to his last and you will not find a single word about helping the poor or social justice. Not one. In John's lone reference to the poor, Jesus is somewhat dismissive of them. That is not because he doesn't care about them, but because he is comparing their situation with something far more important.
....The divide for Jesus is not between the poor and the rich, but between the proud and the repentant, regardless of income or social standing. Miss that and you miss everything'
The Story of Reality, Gregory Koukl, p.144.
To discover what is the 'far more important' is you will need to read the rest of the chapter entitled 'Rescue' in this compelling and brilliant book...........
mmmmmm - well I've not read the book, but this promo doesn't sell it for me....John's gospel may not make the poor a key theme but others do through the actions and instructions of Jesus - you can't eliminate every single thing Jesus said about the poor and social justice - John's gospel is not the whole counsel of God and we cannot create a canon within the canon and elevate this over the others or epistles - Jesus by His Spirit spoke through the Old Testament, the other gospels and the Epistles and the poor matter to God.
The passage struck me as I had not observed this of the Jesus of Gospel of John. As with all quotes, it has a context and I agree with you that of course the poor matter to God in the wider canon. The book is worth a read. David
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