Rich or Poor?

When John the Baptist was in prison (because of confronting King Herod for his sin) and heard about the works Jesus had done, he sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask if He was the One “that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). Jesus sent the disciples back with the response that they should show John the things that they had seen and heard. And what were the wonderful things? The blind received their sight, and the lame could walk. The deaf could hear, and dead were raised up to new life! What amazing miracles that only God, only the Messiah could do.

But then Jesus added another proof that puzzled me. He said, “the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). How could that be a proof that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ? I found that Isaiah had written about 700 years before that the Messiah would be anointed “to preach good tidings unto the meek (humble, lowly, poor, needy).” The Scribes and Pharisees often overlooked and despised the poor because of their lack of knowledge and education, but Jesus came to minister to them. This was a sign He was the Messiah. Today we must continue to reach out to the poor and lowly as ones who need a Savior, a hope, a peace, and everlasting life.

But what about the rich? What about those of high position, those high in government, in fame, in society? Jon and I recently met a lady who seemed to be of wealth, of position in society and business, who lived in the “rich area” of town. Truthfully, I was a little intimidated, until the Lord reminded me He did not come for the rich or the poor. He came for sinners, all of us. All must hear the Gospel. Nicodemus, a man of great learning and influence, came to Jesus, and Jesus told him, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). Someone told Joseph of Arimathaea about Christ, and this rich man believed in and followed Him (Mark 15:43-46). Lydia (Acts 16:14) was apparently a successful businesswoman who opened her heart to the Lord after hearing Paul preach. And because of Paul’s bonds, even those in the palace heard of Christ.

Follow Christ’s example and seek to bring lost sinners (rich or poor) to Christ (Luke 19:10).

The Silent Word

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