Poor People (Part 32)
Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.
Matthew 11:4-6 (NASB)*
As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?'... Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, 'One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.' But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
Mark 10:17,21-22 (NASB)**
Jesus spent most of His time with poor people: people poor in heart, health, comfort and purpose. Because people on empty beg to be filled.
Because rich people think they're already full: full of position, possessions and proud words. Jesus describes them as soil grown thick with weeds:
'Therefore hear The Parable of the Sower... Now he who received Seed among the thorns is he who hears the Word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful' (Matthew 13:18,22).***
In other words, when we're filled with bossiness and busyness, even Christians have scant space left for the Boss and His business. But our Lord won't be squeezed. Instead, He'll simply exit stage right. How can we give Him less than prime time when He gave to us His Son?
Perhaps this was the rich and righteous young ruler's problem. While he obeyed God's Law in many things, money still came first.
So I repeat to myself and my prosperous brethren, let's avoid this socially acceptable stumbling block. No matter what wealthy pastors say or write in their books, no matter what reassurances may tickle our ears...
Let us re-read in context our King's Own Words on riches. That we may be prepared and not deceived by this world's god.
To Be Continued...
* John's Questions & Jesus' Tribute to John: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+11%3A1-19&version=NASB
** The Rich Young Ruler: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+10%3A17-31&version=NASB
*** The Parable of the Sower: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13%3A1-23&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Poor People series.