Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Poor

Had a discussion on Sunday that I have been mulling over for the week. During our Sunday Evening Bible Study we read through Jesus' choice of about himself in Luke 4. Out of all of the Old Testament, Christ chooses this passage of scripture to refer to himself:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Luke 4:18-19, ESV

My purpose was to show that the ministry of Jesus was to be to both the Jews and Gentiles, but a good question was asked which sidetracked us from my intent: "Why didn't Jesus just say that he has come to bring good news to everyone?"
My response was, "Because Jesus came for the poor, not the rich."
"Poor in spirit." "Does Jesus mean something else by the word poor?" Were the replies. One person even quoted proverbs about the value of hard work.
Why does money cause such difficulty?
There is nothing inheritly spiritual about "being poor." And it is safe to say that there is nothing inheritly spiritual about "being rich."
Then, today I had the priviledge to attend the Chapel service during Trinity Evangelical Divinity School's "Global Christian Week."

Steve Haas, Vice President of Church Relations at World Vision, spoke and said something to the effect of... "the poor are treated as inhuman, less than human, and Jesus enters into their lives to love them and treat them as humans created in the image of God."
Jesus comes to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, the year of God's willingness to treat us a his beloved. He releases captives from their prisons because of his desire to show us that he is love. He brings the poor up form their low estate.

The rich have no need to be humanized, they already have their power.

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