What Jesus Really Stood For (part 2)

Jenni Ho-Huan
7 min readAug 7, 2020
Syrian man enjoying a moment with his still working music box

“No one can serve two masters.

Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.

You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matt 6v24)

At first, we follow and go ‘uhuh, that makes sense…’

But then, we begin to wonder if it really isn’t possible to have more than one affection.

Finally we are shocked that of all the things great and small, Jesus would choose to set up Mammon against God. Really, Jesus?

Over the years, my own relationship with both Jesus and Mammon has been tumultuous, mostly, not having enough of either!

I was born into a poor family and recall episodes such as my father doling out soulful advice to drink water to feel the hunger pangs less, and my mother’s excitement to come home a boil a pot of rice to eat with the packet of fried noodles that had extra lard pieces added in owing to the hawker’s generosity.

Some experience poverty’s sting and end up hoarders. Others feel it’s pain and develop empathy.

I was somewhere in the mid-stream where I feel easily for the lack others experience, but often was tardy to respond in kind. For years, I asked God to make me rich so that I could just tell the poor dejected kid cleaning tables that I would pay for his education.

Poverty, it turns out is a dimension reality embedded in systems of function (or malfunction). These systems include personal perception, familial dynamics, community support or lack thereof and larger cultural mores.

This means the the solution isn’t more money, but hey, more money can’t hurt, can it?

At university I studied Economics and Political Science. Money became even more complicated.

Keynesian or Communitarian? How mighty is the invisible hand or does it get manipulated by invisible strings?

Economic realities and systems continue to evolve, often benefiting the rich at the expense of the poor. As the adage goes: it takes money to make money (which reminds me of how my mother resourceful adapted this principle by running what is known as a collective back in the day).

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