Jesus the Poor

 And Jesus saith unto him,

The foxes have holes,

 and the birds of the air have nests;

but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Matthew 8:20

 

Jesus Christ was a poor man by all definitions. He is remembered as a baby born in a manger, crucified and died with the criminals, buried in a borrowed grave. He was materially poor by choice. He loved to mingle with the poor and needy people living under the poverty line. The sick and the oppressed were His friends. He defended sinners though He lived an immaculate life, free from lawlessness and corruption.

The main mission of Christ is not to save the world. He will not save the whole world from their sins though He died for their sins. He came to preach the good news to the poor. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. The poor are the lost. Jesus came for the “poor people” of this world.

 

“ 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,

 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Luke 4:18-19

Who are the poor?

The poor are the brokenhearted, who seems to have lost the vision for a bright future and they are bruised by the church and civil government mismanagement and failure.

The poor are the sick who can not afford the service of a physician, those who can not afford to buy medicines to treat their illnesses. The poor are the uneducated who can barely read and write, those who deprived of a formal education due to lack of financial resources. The poor are the oppressed who are in financial captivity, living in hand to mouth survival mode. They are in debt and jobless because they belong to the lower level of the society. The poor are those who are serving time in jail for the crime they committed. The poor are those who were born poor by poor parents. We should not blame them for being poor by birth.

We should devote our time and energy to minister to the poor. The poor does not go to church very often. We can find them outside the walls of the church. Our Gospel is for the poor in spirit. This does not mean spiritually poor to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

“ Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,

Come, ye blessed of my Father,

inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat;

I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink;

I was a stranger, and ye took me in;

 naked, and ye clothed me;

 I was sick, and ye visited me;

I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying,

 Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee?

or athirst, and gave thee drink?

And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?

 or naked, and clothed thee?

 And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them,

Verily I say unto you,

Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren,

even these least, ye did it unto me.

 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,

Depart from me, ye cursed,

into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels:

 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat;

I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;

 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in;

naked, and ye clothed me not; sick,

and in prison, and ye visited me not.

 Then shall they also answer, saying,

Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst,

or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison,

and did not minister unto thee?

 Then shall he answer them, saying,

Verily I say unto you,

Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least,

ye did it not unto me.

 And these shall go away into eternal punishment:

but the righteous into eternal life.

Matthew 25:34-45

What Jesus did not pray for?

There are three things Jesus did not pray to His Father.

1. He did not pray for the world.                                                                                         “I pray not for the world,

but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine”.

John 17:9

Jesus told His Father in prayer that He was not praying for the world. He wanted the world to receive Him and be saved. He preached His word that people may obey and follow Him. He did not pray that men would be saved without following His words.  Jesus seeks and saves that which was lost. The Father is at work drawing men to Christ and the Holy Spirit is actively convicting sinners to repentance. Have you witness a group of people praying all night for the salvation of the world? Dictating God what to do to save souls? Prayer and fasting to cause a revival is an Old Testament practice and that was before the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2.  He did not pray that His disciples be taken out of the world. 

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world,

but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”

John 17:15

Jesus did not pray for a rapture to escape persecutions, trials and temptations. He needed the disciples to practice His lifestyle and obey His words so that His Father may be glorified. He planned that His followers will spread the good news into all the world. He asked His disciples to pray that His Father may send more laborers into the harvest field. Have you been in a prayer meeting where people is praying for an early second coming of the Lord to escape hardship? The second coming of the Lord is already set in the mind of our Father God. He knows when time of His coming?

3.  He did not only pray for His disciples but also for those who would believe on Him through their word.

“Neither pray I for these alone,

but for them also which shall believe on me

through their word.”

John 17:20

Jesus did not only pray for His early disciples. He was also mindful of the later followers of the gospel. The disciples had sown the seed (WORD) and the harvest is plenteous. The seeds that fell on good grounds are all over, they are the branches of the Great vine. The Sheep of His pasture hears the voice of the Great Shepherd everyday. Jesus loves His Flock and prays for them. The word preached by the disciples came from the mouth of their Lord. The words they kept and remembered through the help of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were faithfully spreading the exact words and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Shall we pray for those things that Jesus did not pray for? Our prayers must be in line with the expressed will of our Lord Jesus Christ. Anything we can ask but not those that are against His will.

 

ASK !!!

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,

that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John !4:13-15

There is no formal art of asking God our Father. You ask because you need something important. Once you ask in the name of Jesus Christ, He will hear you, guaranteed. The Father will do it and the Son will do it, that’s what He said and promised to us. We can ask anywhere we are and anything from our Father in heaven. Ask while you are dreaming in your sleep. Why not? Anyway it is not bad dreaming while you are half asleep.The best time to ask from our Father is when we can’t sleep due to some nagging problems.

You can ask while praying but you can also ask even when you are not praying or in a prayer meeting. (Matt.21:22)  Asking is an informal or casual way to approach our Father. There is power in asking because there is a small faith as tiny as a mustard seed when you ask. You ask because you believe that He is able to give them to you, the things you asked. (Matt.7:11) How many times we can ask Him? As many as we can, however once we received what we asked from Him, we should stop asking the same thing again. We should thank Him for giving us what we asked for. Our Father knows what we need before we ask from Him. (Matt.6:8). This is why we may ask Him in any language or even in our silent or non-verbal communication. You can text Him too.

Jesus talked plainly about asking our Father. He spoke no more in proverbs so that we can understand how easy to approach our Father. We go straight to the Father through Jesus Christ without consulting King David’s Psalms and Proverbs. Jesus said emphatically and clear that when we ask, ask in His name. period. Always in His name.Once we invoke His name, He will join us in our prayer. He will pray for us. (John 16:26)

Finally, when we ask in His name, we know to whom we shall give the glory, honor and praise. Jesus said that if we ask in His name, the Father is glorified. We remember that if we asked in His name, the credit goes to Him alone. His name is the key-code to get access to Father in heaven. The right password is the name of Jesus Christ and the line is open for you to ASK.

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name,

he will give it you.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name:

ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs:

but the time cometh,

when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs,

but I shall show you plainly of the Father.

 At that day ye shall ask in my name:

and I say to you,

that I will pray the Father for you.

John 16:23-26

Before Abraham was, I AM

 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day:

and he saw it, and was glad.

Then said the Jews unto him,

Thou art not yet fifty years old,

and hast thou seen Abraham?

 Jesus said unto them,

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Before Abraham was, I am.

 Then took they up stones to cast at him:

but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple,

going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

John 8:56-59

Jesus gave another astonishing remark to the Jews that He was in existence before their father Abraham. The declaration of Jesus Christ of “I AM” before Abraham was has a far-reaching effect to every followers of His teachings. All along we are saying that Jesus Christ is always constant. He is the “NOW”, never a person of the past, He is the “I AM”.

Abraham is considered as the father of both the Jewish faith as well as the Anglo-Christian religion. Christianity owes a great deal to Abraham and his exploit of faith in the formation of its doctrine and core belief. The middle east conflict can be traced out of Abraham’s infidelity. He was not a perfect family man but God favored him with a child called Isaac. The Israelites and Arabs are both claiming to be descendants of Abraham. The Laws of Moses were given to the children of Abraham. The Old Testament tells the story of the nation of Israel. The Prophets centered their prophetical utterances to the future of the so-called chosen people.

Jesus Christ was before Abraham. His day was seen by Abraham and was glad to have him see His day. There was a moment that Abraham saw Jesus Christ but it was not recorded in the Scriptures. However, Jesus Christ testified about the encountered thousand years afterwards. It was a day with the Lord. The Jews were adamant when they heard Jesus was saying that He was even before Abraham lived. He was not even fifty years old when He said that scandalous comment to the Jews. The sons or descendants of Abraham took up stones to cast at Him. Not surprisingly, most living Jews does not accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah.

The Law and the Prophets cannot be above the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When we need something to know about life, we go straight to the spoken words of Jesus Christ for there we can find everything His Father wanted us to know and do. If we read the compiled books of the Old Testament which was mainly for the Jews and their culture and then apply them to our situation or interpret them to our condition, we are going to face some difficulty in understanding the plan and eternal purpose of the Father for our lives.

I AM is what He is. He is ever-present and forever alive. He never said I WAS for he is not a thing of the past. He was present before our man-made religion, before Catholicism, Protestantism and many others. Actually, He is the beginning and end, the Alpha and Omega.

“I AM WITH YOU ALWAY”

And when they saw him, they worshipped him:

but some doubted.

 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,

All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father,

 and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

 Teaching them to observe all things 

whatsoever I have commanded you:

and, lo, I am with you alway, 

even unto the end of the world.

Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20

 

Jesus spoke to His disciples before He went back to His Father. He told them to teach all nations to obey all things whatsoever He commanded them, that is to teach all the verbal words of Christ which they heard from their Master’s mouth. What they heard, they taught. No scholarly interpretation from other sources. Just the pure words of Christ, clear and simple. Remember at that time there were no printed words of Christ to read, it was the pre-Bible era and Christianity was not yet established.

It is important to go back to the original principles and teachings of Christ to have a solid ground to build your personal belief. All other ground is sinking sand. Any religion that is not founded on the rock which is Christ and His Words will pass away and bound to fail.

There are great “I am” confession of Christ in the gospels. He said that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Living Bread, the Door, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Good Shepherd, the True vine and the Resurrection and the Life. You either believe on His Words or doubt Him and His words. These “I AM” declarations are confrontational. What do you think? What is your reaction or respond to what He said about Himself.

The last “I AM” Jesus has uttered to His disciples was “ I AM WITH YOU ALWAY”. Jesus will never leave nor forsake you. These words will be your source of strength. Can you imagine the impact of this promise? The “I AM” is with you at all times, there is no moment of loneliness, you will never walk alone. He is with you even unto the end of the world. Jesus is always with you as you abide in His words. Jesus can be with you for He has forgiven you a thousand times. There is no reason to feel rejected and unworthy of His love. You can practice your religion with this thought anywhere in the world.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the “ALWAYS” of your life for He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is your “always” and will go with you all the way.