Posted by / Sunday 19 March 2017 / No comments

The teachings of Jesus on alms-giving

Alms giving is the act of freely giving out a tangible or intangible thing to another person, usually and needy person.

At the time of Jesus’ ministry, there were three types of alms giving that were being paid by the people. The three types of alms were collected by three different people. The first one was the collection of cash offerings in the Synagogue on every Sabbath day. This was given out to the poor. The second type was the collection of a combination of food and cash at the market places. This was also given out to the needy. The third type was received in the Court of Women, within the premises of the Temple. Thirteen offering boxes were placed at vantage points in the court of women and people were encouraged to give freely. This was also used in taking care of the needy.

Jesus preached against giving alms to people in an ostentatious way just to impress people. At the time of Jesus, it was the practice of some people to go about with trumpets sounding ahead of them as they give alms to the needy. For such people, Jesus said they will have no reward from God because by receive praise from people, that is in itself a reward. Jesus taught that, when the Christians want to give alms, they should do it in secret. They should not let even the right know what the left hand is doing. This way, the father who sees in secret would reward them.

Jesus also taught that Christians should not refuse to give to those who ask alms from them neither should they refuse to give a person who comes to borrow from them.

Jesus suggested, in his teachings, that a Christian could even sell his property and give the proceeds to the poor so that that person can have treasure in heaven. This was in an answer to the young man who came to Jesus to ask what he should do in order to enter the kingdom of God. According to the account, when Jesus told the young man to obey the laws of Moses, he said he had been observing all those laws. Jesus then told him to go and sell all his property and give it out to the poor so that he can enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus taught that when a person sells his property and gives the proceeds out to the poor, he or she is providing for him or herself, a purse that does not grow old. Also, such a person is building a treasure in heaven where no moth can go and destroy it or no thief can go and still it.

In his teachings on alms giving, Jesus said people must not deliberately give to others who are capable of giving back to them. He advised that when they organize a dinner, they should not invite their neighbours, kinsmen, family and friends; people who are very likely to invite them at some point. Rather they should invite the lame, the blind and the afflicted, those who cannot, in anyway, invite them back to their own dinner. He promised that they would receive their pay on the day of resurrection.

Jesus also taught the people to give those things which are tangible but things that are intangible, things that come from within the heart of man. Things like compassion on another person, helping in other ways possible.

1. One can give to the poor by donating to a worthy course in the society, such as to an orphanage.

2. One can go to schools for the disable people and give out for their upkeep.

3. One can also give directly to the afflicted persons when one meets them in the streets or elsewhere.

1. a. Highlight Jesus’ teachings on alms giving
    b. In which three ways can a person give to the poor in your society today?

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