Continuing on our small group study of Radical by David Platt, we were reminded that Jesus became poor to minister to the poor.
Because He became poor for the poor, we need to heed His example and not forget the poor. God responds to the poor with compassion and those who indulge themselves and ignore the poor will stand condemned before God.
Isaiah 61 :1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
“And Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see…the poor have good news preached to them.” (Matthew 11:4-5).
Note what happened to the rich man versus the poor man.
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.” (Luke 16:19-22a)
Do we live more like the rich man or the poor man? Are we poor in God’s sight?
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
We are called to take care of the poor
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:13-14)
Note what Zacchaeus committed to do after his change in heart after he decided to follow the Lord. Is there a change in our behavior to the poor after we accepted Jesus Christ as Savior?
Luke19: 8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
We do not give to the poor because we feel guilty but because of the gospel which has changed us from being self-serving, to people who care for those who are poor, to be God’s blessings to them in love and to please our Heavenly Father.
2 Corinthians 8: 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
In the Old Testament the people were instructed to share with the poor
Deuteronomy 15: 7“If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; 8.but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. 9“Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the LORD against you, and it will be a sin in you.…
The Old Testament applied to physical blessings and in the New Testament we are the beneficiaries of much more through His grace and mercy to each one of us through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Watch and note what the final judgement will be :
Judgement of the Gentiles
Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the 3holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Then He will also say to those on the left hand “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Can we forget the poor? Faith without works is dead.