“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich”, 2 Corinthians 8:9.
Paul was trying to stir the Corinthians to give. What could move the heart (which opens the hand) more than the example of our Lord who was….
Before His incarnation in His pristine condition, the Son of God was rich in possessions. He owned Abraham’s flocks, Belshazzar’s life-breath, Babel’s clay, the water-jars of heaven, and the stars of every galaxy. And He could have yet spoken more worlds into existence.
Jesus was rich also in glory (John 17:5). He was possessor of all the divine attributes and prerogatives. He was self-existent, self-sufficient, creator, very deity, the second person of the Godhead, having all the Father’s love. Yet our Lord Jesus….
Made Himself Poor
What wonderment there must have been among the angels when a word got out that deity would become humanity, that the Infinite would become an infant, that the Holy one would become sin, that the Son of God would become a man, a slave, a suffering slave, a criminal, a dying criminal.
What poverty was His – the Light of the world entering the darkness of the virgin’s womb. He was born, not in a palace, not an inn, but a barn. What a distance between the Throne and the feed bunk. Can you see the hands that made the world taking up the hammer in the carpenter’s shop? What? This one who was the Giver of all, now living off charity! What? The shoulders that bore the government of the world being ripped by the cruel Roman whip. What? The face that angels scarcely can look upon was dripping with the spit of ungodly men. Why all of that? It was “for our sakes”…
That We Through His Poverty Might be Enriched
While the non-Christian might be wealthy, yet the Christian has come into what Jesus called “the true riches” (Luke 16:11). The knowledge of God, adoption, justification, regeneration, sanctification, preservation, protection, glorification, eternal bliss, solid joys and lasting treasures, it is all ours because of the substituionary sufferings of the Savior. Who are the true land owners? Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). God is our God and He makes the whole universe revolve around each of His children (1 Cor. 3:22).
The question is this – have you become poor, poor spiritually? You must, if you will be made rich. You must see yourself as a poor wretched beggar headed for hell with no means to claim heaven apart from the merit of Christ. If you give up all, you will gain all.
Written by Bob Jennings in June 1992