David Robinson is one of 50 all-time great basketball players. He recently received the Heisman Trophy Trust Award for helping others. Motivated by his Christian faith, he has donated millions to assist families and educate poor children in Texas. Unlike some so-called anti-poverty programs that turn out to be schemes to make people rich, Robinson’s foundation gives far more than it receives. In John’s Gospel Chapter 12, the Apostle alerts us to schemers who use anti-poverty programs as a pretext to help themselves. In John 12, Judas spoke as though he was concerned about the poor when he chided Mary for washing Jesus’ feet. She had managed to buy costly perfume worth a year’s wages. Then she violated protocol by uncovering her hair in public and did something slaves usually did — she washed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. When Judas saw this, he blasted her for such extravagance. He claimed she should have sold the perfume and given the money to help the poor. But John, knowing Judas was a thief, who often stole the disciples’ money, tells us about his evil character—He would use giving to the poor as a pretext for ripping them off. Sadly, some people today still use the poor to pad their pockets. Since Jesus counts on us to be salt and light in our world, we should do all we can to check the exploitation of the poor, to foster genuine concern for them.
[powerpress]Don’t see the audio player? Click here.