Jesus never said, "The poor will always be with you."
How can I say Jesus never said, "The poor will always be with you"? The line is documented in Scripture and has been translated into countless languages. If he had said it today, the video would be uploaded to Youtube and go viral. How can I say he never said it? Here's how. He said the words, but he didn't mean them the way you think he did.
We hear Jesus say, "The poor will be with you always", and we think he meant that we shouldn't even bother to try to help the poor. That's not what he meant. Jesus meant that we should expect to be helping the needy our whole lives long. He meant that we should examine our motives for helping people to see if we genuinely want to help human beings or are just virtue signaling. He meant that in a world with a lot of cruelty and ugliness, we should try to do something kind and beautiful.
This Sunday we continue our sermon series, "Things Jesus never said." We will look at what Jesus was really saying, when he didn't say, "The poor will always be with you."