Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.
Let's talk about Jesus. Because to study Him is to study the Roadmap to life. 'I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly' (John 10:10).
John 10:10 has been harvested by prosperity preachers again and again. It's like the finest Wheat. The problem comes in their processing of It, because they treat God's Word like white bread; they remove the bran and the germ to eat the fattening starch.
They conform His Word to our world, but God says we must do the opposite: 'Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind' (Romans 12:2). Yet God didn't just tell us how to act, He showed us--Personally.
Jesus came here for 33 years, and He chose to be poor. He chose to be born in the lowest of circumstances. He 'Made Himself of no reputation' and took on 'The form of a Servant' (Philippians 2:7-8).
Think about it. The King of kings could have come down to Earth in a blaze of glory, and one day He will do exactly that. But not yet.
On the trip that began in 4 BC,* Jesus chose a mother, father and life without worldly privileges. Because His destiny was not to become a paper tiger, but the Lion of Judah: a power position the world could not comprehend. From it, He conquered the enemy while blessing the poor--repeatedly. He still does and will.**
The Beatitudes spell it out: The meek will inherit the Earth.*** Do we have to be as poor as Jesus? I don't know, but I do know we can't let money be our master... or get tied up in the quest for roles, ranks and positions. That's the world's game, and God doesn't play that way.
Because every paper tiger is destined to tear and burn. As for the poor? Jesus identified with them. Shouldn't we?
To Be Continued...
* The date of Jesus' birth is debated. Consider this article: http://bibletimeline.net/biblehistoryblog/what-year-was-christ-born/
** Consider The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+16%3A19-31&version=NKJV
*** The Beatitudes: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%205:1-11&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Roles, Ranks & Positions series.