THE WORD SIROCCO
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Month Theme: For This Purpose
Topic: The Poor
Scripture Reading: Luke 16:19-31
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
The word “poor” in Luke 4:18 is the Greek word ‘ptōchos’ which means a beggar, pauper or poor man. Jesus Christ did not preach the Gospel to the rich who did not want to receive it. He preached to the poor – those who lack the luxuries of this world but are hungry for the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ made a deliberate effort to reach the poor with the whole Gospel, not a partial Gospel – He targeted the salvation of the soul, healing of the body and deliverance of the spirit (Matthew 11:4-6). The poor who receive the Gospel, refers to those who are poor in spirit or physically poor. The poor in spirit are the people who acknowledge that they are lost and dead in sin and need salvation. The poor in spirit are humble and don’t depend on their own righteousness to be saved (Matthew 5:3).
Jesus gave an example of a publican who was poor in spirit when he confessed he was a sinner and God forgave him. His attitude was the very opposite of the Pharisee who attributed righteousness to himself but God condemned him (Luke 18:9-14). The physically poor who have the Gospel preached to them are those who lack earthly riches and for that matter may have the advantage of escaping the ability of earthly riches to deceive them. Riches can deceive many to think that they don’t need salvation.The poor have the Gospel preached to them not because they are poor but because their hearts are not choked by the deceitfulness of riches (Mark 4:18-19). They are not saved because they are poor but because being poor might make them humble enough to depend on God. Many people are physically poor but not poor in spirit either. Being physically poor is not a guarantee for being poor in spirit.
Although it is possible to be physically rich and still be saved, Jesus Christ warned that it could be difficult. Jesus Christ cautioned that it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (19:23-24). Preaching the Gospel to the poor sometimes includes changing their conditions of living on earth. Giving them the Gospel that sends them to Heaven is good but preachers should go further to feed the physically hungry and transform the world if they have the means to do so (Luke 9:12-17).
Prayer: Pray for the compassion to take the Gospel to both the physically and spiritually poor.
“For This Purpose” by Eastwood Anaba
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