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Jesus wants to give His Kingdom to the poor

Oscar Amaechina
Courtesy of Oscar Amaechina

After careful study and analysis of the attitude of Jesus towards the poor in His earthly ministry, I assert that Jesus' love for the poor is overwhelming. He was so compassionate to the poor that one might be tempted to ask if Jesus does love the poor more than the rich?

Many Christians, due to the world's popular perception, are of the opinion that those who are rich are favored by God, are blessed because God loves the rich more than the poor, and gives them preferential treatment in the allocation of financial and material resources.

In every society, the poor are oppressed, marginalized, discriminated against and stigmatized by the high and the mighty. In the biblical era, the Pharisees and Sadducees despised the poor; ancient philosophers neglected them; but the Gospel sought to bless them.

In the mission statement of Jesus, He categorically stated that He had come to preach the Gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18). In other words, Jesus said that His target group was the poor who needed some sources of comfort that the world could not give them. Instead of Jesus declaring that He had come to give money to the poor, He stated that He was anointed by the spirit to give them the Gospel of the Kingdom.

The rich were excluded in Jesus' mission statement probably because they filled their mind with pride, self-complacency and with a feeling that they didn't have need for the Gospel. Christ knew those who will appreciate the Gospel and decided to target them with the good news of the Kingdom, which pours contempt on all human riches and greatness and strives to do good to those whom the world has despised and rejected.

In Luke 6:20, Jesus encourages the poor by reminding them that He has prepared a place of comfort for them: "Looking at his disciples, he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God’.” It is obvious that the way which the world sees the poor is completely different from the way that Jesus sees them.

It is appalling that the poor do not understand how precious they are in the sight of God. For lack of this understanding, most poor persons are rebelling against God, seeking riches instead of God. Some have gone down the road of apostasy in search of riches, while some have followed antichrists and false teachers for the sake of earthly wealth.

A similar principle was applied by Jesus when He spoke to the rich: “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.” Does it mean that the rich cannot enter God's Kingdom? There is a story in the Bible that can help us answer this question.

The story of the rich young ruler who asked Jesus what He could do to inherit the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:17-25). Jesus showed that the Kingdom of God can be inherited by the rich only if they first sell all they have accumulated, give the proceeds to the poor and then come and carry their crosses to follow Him.

Jesus also emphatically said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eyes of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God" (Mark 10:25). Jesus understood that riches and wealth can constitute a barrier between man and the Kingdom of God, and He knew that the rich young ruler will find it difficult to follow Him with all his wealth and then discard it on a dime.

Jesus never gave the poor such condition because He knew that nothing would encumber them when they set their hands on the plow for onward journey into the Kingdom. Most poor Christians do not recognize this opportunity and have wounded themselves so much in their quest for riches.

If only the poor had understood God's purpose for them, they would have realized that there is ability in disability, and riches in poverty. This knowledge would enable them to harness and appropriate the opportunity which their deprived state has provided for them.

For lack of knowledge, the poor work against themselves by rejecting God's gift of the Kingdom and embracing the works of the flesh — adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies and other vices. The Apostle Paul made it clear to the Galatians church that those who indulge in all these shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).

Everyone — poor and rich alike — ought to remember these things for the sake of their own souls, and for the sake of the Kingdom.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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