Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good News to the Poor



Luke 4:16-20

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (NIV)

Matthew 11:4-6
"Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." (NIV)
Huh? What about the rich? Didn't Jesus come to give good news to the rich too?

In North American standards I'm not rich... but ...
  • I own a car that puts me in the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.
  • I own a computer and only 1% of the world does.
  • I have lots of good food in my house... too much actually
Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds. http://www.bread.org/learn/hunger-basics/hunger-facts-international.html

What is this good news to the poor that Jesus came preaching?

Am I as a follower of Christ bringing this message to the poor of our world today?

So yes, I'm a bit confused and am praying for better understanding on this.

Was Jesus' good news to the poor the message of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-55)? Is this message of the kingdom of God a message that will see the debts of the poor forgiven?

Is the good news to the poor: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." ... "But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. " (Luke 6:20-26)

I don't understand what this really means.

God how am I to respond, as one who has been blessed? What is my responsibility?

I want to also share this good news to the poor. But I'm not sure what my part is. Do I need to sell all that I have and give it to the poor? Would God ask me to remove all the comforts my wife, kids and I share? Would this be responsible? Or is there some way I can use the money and resources I have to bring Christ's message of redemption (physical and spiritual) to the poor?

I pray for wisdom and understanding on this.

(Edit March 7th, 2009)
This may makes a bit more sense to me now... If the good news is: "The reign of God is here - change your life, believe this message". It would make some sense that the poor would be eager to hear this good news message. They may not have hope in being part of a human kingdom, but they could be part of this kingdom of God.

But it still troubles me that Jesus didn't say he was giving this message to everyone - rich and poor.

4 comments:

arteska@yahoo.com said...

Jon

THe truth is that in life not all of us are blessed with prosperity in the sense of wealth, but we all are rich. Jesus always looked at the heart of a person thru compassion and learned how to direct the questions for issues. being rich is a TOOL. Some people are called to make money and others are called to minister to them. THat way the kingdom spin becomes how GOD can use both. A simple thing that I learned from a rich man was make all you can so that you can give all you can. that allows the kingdom message to be given away with tangible results. Hope that helps a little. I am not a Xgenr, but a older man with gandchildren that are learning the principles of the WOrd of God allow prosperity in all things.love to chat with you at my emamil at arteska@yahoo.com.
Peace brother
Art

Jonathan said...

Thanks Art for stopping by and your comments.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I run a ministry to single mothers. Here's how I define God's Good News to the poor:

"Despite all of the hardship you've had,

"Despite the 'evidence' that the world is against you,

"Despite the bad luck in your life, and

"Despite the overwhelming power that lawyers, bosses, landlords, banks, ex's and used car salesmen have,

I the Lord of the Universe know you by name, care for you deeply, and will make the last first and first last, so that you know I have not forgotten you."

Jonathan said...

Thanks for the comment. Great definition, I like it. Thanks.