"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor."
Luke 4:18a (and Isaiah 61:1)
Ever wondered why Isaiah and Jesus here single out ‘the poor’ for the good news? Isn’t the good news for everyone? Didn’t Jesus come to save the whole world?
Yes, this is true, BUT throughout Scripture we read about a God who has a special concern for the poor, the needy, the outcasts and the nobodies. In the Torah, He sets out provisions for the poor, such as the year of Jubilee (Lev 25) and the instructions about leaving the edges of fields unharvested
(Lev 23). He speaks through the Prophets about the importance of looking after the poor and the aliens in their midst (Isaiah 1). Jesus touched the untouchables, gave dignity to the undignified and preached “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God”. The Early church made special effort to support and care for the widows and orphans. James, one of the early church Fathers writes; ‘Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’
God has always had a special interest in His people caring for the poor, looking after those who have no one else to do so and loving those who are on the outside. We can’t preach the Good News of Jesus love and salvation for the whole world without connecting it with our response to the poor. If the Good News is for everyone, it means that it is for us and our friends and family, but it is also for those we don’t know, who we may never come into contact with. As I’ve said before the Good News is more than just an idea, it is God working in the real world bringing about real change.
How is God calling you to bring His Good News to someone in need?
They don’t have to be overseas, there are plenty of needy people in your neighbourhood. Maybe they are not financially poor, but they may be lonely or struggling with issues in their lives.
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cowyeow/6225553266