Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!'
When my father and my mother forsake me...
My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, and my relatives stand afar off.
The poor is separated from his friend.
All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him.
At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.
They all forsook Him and fled.
In one sense, Jesus became the poorest Man Who ever lived. 'And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud Voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' ' (Matthew 27:46).*
Because poor means lacking: 'Having little or no money, goods or other means of support; faulty or inferior, as in construction; deficient in desirable ingredients...' **
On the Cross, Jesus became faulty in construction: torn apart in Body and in sin. On the Cross, Jesus lacked mankind's most desirable ingredient: communion with God. On the Cross, Jesus lacked clothing, justice, disciples, defenders and death with dignity. Years before, He forsook the symbols of a desirable life: home, money and status.
Basically, Jesus lacked everything. By voluntary simplification, by obedience to His Father's plan, by submission to evil governments, by taking all our sins upon Himself, by choosing the worst death conceivable, He gave up it all to give us His all: redemption and eternity with God.
But by lacking everything, He gained far more than He lost: the lives of God's beloved and our freedom from Satan. That was His plan all along.
Consider two unpopular lessons: 1) Neither ignore nor denounce poor people. 2) They may need your help, and you may need theirs.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: Why did Jesus say, 'My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?' http://www.gotquestions.org/forsaken-me.html
** Online Dictionary definition of poor: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/poor?s=t
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Poor People series.