Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jesus' heart for the poor

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

The Father in heaven sent His only Son to be born on earth as a man. He chose His birthplace to be a stable, and His earthly mother and father were from the lower end of society. He was trained as a carpenter by His father, and owned nothing at the end of His life. It is very significant that the King of glory chose to come in this way, so that the very poorest people can truly relate to His message.

Jesus grew up to be a man, and had some years living in and relating to the world, and then when He was thirty years old the Father told Him the time for His great work had come. Soon after this Jesus took out the scroll in the synagogue in His hometown Nazareth to announce the ministry, for which his Father had sent Him, and read from Isaiah 61:1-2, “The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”

We have seen in Africa that poverty is a real captivity and a stronghold. The poor don’t know how to escape from it and such a sense of hopelessness comes over them, and poverty causes so much suffering and broken-heartedness. Praise God that Jesus came to set them free, and to heal them and restore them.

It is also very significant that when Paul and Silas began their great work of taking the Gospel to the Gentiles and the rest of the world, James, Peter and John gave them their blessing, and Paul reported in Galatians 2: 10, “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.”
What a mandate, what a priority in God’s heart are the poor, that He inspired the apostles, through His Holy Spirit, to remember that the expression and outworking of the Gospel is primarily the good news for the poor, who are the most severe casualties of the sin and fall of man. Surely Jesus humility and unselfishness, and His heart for the poor and His plan for their deliverance compose the True fast!

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