The influential and the marginalised. The wealthy and the poor – all are offered the same fatherly care that Jesus offers.
Sure – modern society cares for the less fortunate. But is there a moral foundation which holds these convictions up? If naturalism is true (and most people assume it is), then there is no reason to put others’ interests ahead of your own. Any altruistic action is done to get you some action. Everything is for you, through you and to you. Amen.
There is a better way
Let’s take a step back into the New Testament’s ancient context. People were viewed from a utilitarian perspective, receiving worth in keeping with how they contribute. The weak and needy – women, children, and the disabled – could not contribute meaningfully and were ostracised, sometimes killed.
Before you get on your moral high horse about how far we have progressed – women are treated as equals with men, children are nurtured and the disabled are loved and cared for – consider these:
- Women remain oppressed in a misogynistic culture that treats them as sexual objects
- Children are still beaten, bruised and forgotten by parents. If not physical trauma, then emotional – trophy children strive to meet the unfulfilled goals of their aging parents. But the bar keeps moving.
- The disabled are becoming endangered. Our aversion to mental or physical disability has grown so strong that parents-to-be can screen for certain conditions and decide whether to take a life or not. Everyone is a eugenicist.
If you were paying attention, you will have noticed that we haven’t changed at all. The symptoms may have changed, but the cause still rots within our bones. Who will save us from this body of death?
Jesus, the Care Giver
Jesus comes and creates a counter-culture where all are truly equal and equally valued. This equality is not due to vague sentimentality or political ideology, but because of our desperate sin problem. We have broken God’s infinite Law and therefore, deserve infinite punishment. As Martin Luther famously said on his deathbed – “We are beggars; this is true.”
A fountain of everlasting water pours forth from a cross and heavenly bread rises from a tomb. Those who drink and eat will never hunger nor thirst.
Christians can genuinely care for all because they know, deep within their bones, that they are beggars telling other beggars where to be fed.