Sunday, December 30, 2007

Baby dedication for the poor

"When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. . . , and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, 'a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.'" (Luke 2:22, 24 NRSV)

"If she cannot afford a sheep, she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement on her behalf, and she shall be clean." (Leviticus 12:8 NRSV)

When Joseph and Mary presented their baby at the Temple for his dedication and for Mary's purification, they offered the sacrifice reserved for poor families who could not afford the cost of a lamb.

Jesus was born into a very poor family. Jesus lived as a very poor person.

Something to think about in church today.


Anonymous said...

what do you say to people who argue that he was in fact a rich man? td jakes and others have made this claim - what is their basis for it?

Larry James said...

There is no biblical justification for the claim that the man, Jesus, experienced personal wealth during his lifetime. Born to very poor, peasant parents, possibly spent time in a single-parent household, never owned anything, borrowed and begged for all that he had, including the tomb where he was buried. No, Jesus was a very poor person. That fact is usually lost, forgotten or ignored by much of institutional Christianity.