Do the rich deserve love too?
In recent years, I have become very outspoken against many types of injustice in the world, particularly those perpetuated by the wealthy and the Church.
I believe that this is necessary work justified by my understanding of Jesus and Scripture. Jesus constantly challenged the religious elite and the greedy rich while fighting for the rights of the poor, marginalized and vulnerable.
We also know that Jesus told his followers to love their neighbours, even those who they consider to be their enemies. So how do we confront those perpetuating injustice while still loving them?
Reading the gospel story of Zacchaeus the tax-collector in Luke 19, I was reminded that while God clearly shows a preferential option for the poor throughout the bible, no-one is exempt from God's love and grace - even those who we feel called to challenge.
In this beautiful story, Jesus takes time to visit and eat with Zacchaeus, a man who was rich, greedy and guilty of stealing from many - the exact type of person that Jesus often chastised and used as the butt of his many parables.
Jesus' intentional visit with Zacchaeus has reminded me that while it is good to stand up against those who perpetuate injustices in this world, we should remember that they too are beloved children of God and they are never too far gone to become more loving, generous, gracious folk.
After Zacchaeus' meal with Jesus, he got it. He declared to give away half of his money to the poor and repay anyone that he had stolen money from and wronged in the past - all because of one loving encounter with Christ.
Perhaps one of the best ways that we can convince the rich to be less greedy and more caring is by simply loving them as Christ has first loved us.
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”- Luke 19:9-10
Image Source: Jingming Pan