He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.
He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker.
He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.
And the King will answer... 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
If Jesus became the poorest Man ever to live on earth, if Jesus chose to live without position or possessions...
'But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a Man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross' (Philippians 2:7-8), then God and His Son clearly identify with poor people.*
When Saul was hunting and killing new followers of The Way, even though Jesus was physically living in Heaven... When Jesus gave his closing remarks before His final hour, describing the criteria for mankind's final judgement, He was quite clear: How we treat poor people is how we treat Him.
Consider a marriage vow: 'I, (your name), take You, Jesus, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer
, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance, I pledge my faith to You.'
Yet in this union, death does not divide, but further unites. 'I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy' (Hosea 2:19). 'For your Maker is your Husband, the Lord of hosts is His Name' (Isaiah 54:5). 'I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine' (Song of Solomon 6:3).
If we ignore or mistreat poor people, we negate our vows. And make no mistake about it: our God is a jealous God.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: What did Jesus look like? http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-look-like.html
* Previous AMTC Devotion: The Choices of Jesus: http://amtcdevotions.org/leadership-part-7-the-choices-of-jesus
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Poor People series.