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)
"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
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.