Has anybody ever treated you badly, just because maybe you are poor or sick?
Sure, that happens sometimes to all of us in one way or another.
For example, a guy wearing rich clothes one day is walking down the street and he sees someone up ahead who is sitting by the side of the road.
This poor man has no home, no money and has to sleep behind garbage bins at night.
And he has a hat on the ground, hoping that people would give him money so he could at least buy himself a bowl of soup and maybe get a cheap room for the night so he could sleep on a bed and get a bath.
The rich guy walks by and says; Hey, get a job, you stink, take a bath.
That would not be a very nice to do, would it?
What could this rich man have done instead?
Prov. 14:21 says; He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. (King James Version)
To put it another way, God is saying; If you treat the poor really bad, you are a sinner.
God is angry with people who treat the poor badly, who treat them like trash.
But God says; He is happy with those who treat the poor well."
He is pleased when you give the poor money to help them buy food, and shelter and clothes.
Suppose now this poor guy at the end of the day finds a place behind a restaurant to lay down for the night.
And he climbs into the garbage bin looking for scraps of food to eat.
Suddenly the restaurant owner comes out and finds this poor guy scavenging for something to eat in the garbage bin.
And he yells at the guy; Get out of here, it is illegal for you to be stealing garbage out of my garbage bin. Get out of here before I call the police.
Suppose someone else comes along and though he has little money, he buys this poor guy some bread and offers him a place to sleep for a while.
Which one is a sinner, and which one is God well pleased with?
Jesus said in Matthew 25 that when we do something good to the poor and needy, we have also done it to Him.
Jesus is very happy with us when we treat strangers and the poor and needy well.
When we get to heaven, Jesus is going to tell us how happy He was with us when we did something nice to help a poor person.
Now, let me tell you of a real story that is in the Bible about a poor crippled man.
We do not know this mans real name, but we are going to call him; SICKLY SAM
In John Chapter 5: verses 1-14, we read the story about Sickly Sam.
His story is much like the story I just told you about the poor man who had to scramble into a garbage bin to get something to eat.
In the Bible we are told that Jesus found Sickly Sam laying on a mat beside the pool of Bethsada near the sheep gate. V:2
Everyday people would bring their blind, sick, paralyzed and crippled friends and family to the pool of Bethsada. V:4
Sickly Sam was a crippled man whom Jesus had found beside the pool of Bethesda laying on a mat.
Sickly Sams friends had been bringing him to the pool for 38 years.
It was believed that once a day an angel would come and stir the water in the pool.
It was also believed that anyone who entered the water when the water was stirred would be healed of whatever disease they may have.
But because Sickly Sam was crippled, he could not get into the pool when the water was stirred.
Always, someone else would go into the water before he could even crawl or drag himself into the water.
And no one would help him get into the water when the water was stirred.
So one day while Sickly Sam was laying by the pool of water, Jesus came and said:
Do you want to be healed?
Poor Sickly Sam!
He had no idea that the man talking to him was Jesus.
And he had no idea that because Jesus is God, He can do anything He wants.
So it is nothing for Jesus to be able to heal this man.
Sickly Sam answered and said; Oh, dear sir, I have no one to put me in the water when the water is stirred. And when I try to get into the water, someone else steps into the water before me.
Poor Sickly Sam !
He did not realize that Jesus did not want to help him get into the water, but that Jesus wanted to heal him completely.
To Sickly Sams surprise, Jesus said; Get up and take your mat and walk.
And to everyones surprise Sickly Sam did just that.
He stood up, and picked up his mat and walked.
Can you imagine the looks in all the peoples faces when they saw Sickly Sam get up and start walking?
Why, that cant be possible they would say to one another.
After all, Sickly Sam has been crippled for 38 years.
It wasnt long before the chief priest heard about this and he was angry, because according to the peoples laws, you cannot do any work on a, what we call a Sunday.
So the priest asked, how is it, and who was it that healed you on a Sunday.
Sickly Sam had no idea who it was that healed him.
All he knew is that earlier he could not walk, but now he could.
Was it wrong for Jesus to heal Sickly Sam just because it was a Sunday?
Of course not!
Jesus was showing the people that there is nothing wrong with helping the poor or helping someone in need, no matter what day it is.
Jesus was showing the people that sometimes mans laws are silly.
Just like it was silly for the restaurant owner to tell the poor man that he cant take scrap food out of the garbage bin.
So the next time you want to do something good or kind to someone, just do it no matter when or what day it is.
Jesus is happy when you good things to help others, especially for the poor no matter what day it is.
The Christian Post
Wikipedia: Poverty in Canada
Canadian Council on Social Development: Stats & Facts
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Financial Assistance Links
Canada Revenue Agency
Ontario Association of Food Banks
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Report on Hunger in Canada
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Canadian Non-Profit Organizations:
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