“Remember the poor.” These are the words of the apostles to Paul as they give him the right hand of fellowship and send him on his way. This might seem out of place; after all they are talking about the gospel. How do the poor fit in? Are the apostles simply philanthropists?
Obviously, it’s more than that. When John the Baptist asked Jesus if he was the Messiah, he responded, “Go and tell John what you hear and see…the poor have good news preached to them.” (Matthew 11:4-6) Jesus is quoting Isaiah’s prophecy proclaiming the “year of the LORD’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1,2) While the world champions the rich, God champions the poor, offering them His Kingdom. Through Christ, the poor inherit the earth!
For those who follow Jesus, we are the poor! Paul says that Jesus became poor, “so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) The gospel humbles us, exposing our dependence and poverty of righteousness, but it also gives us hope in our great Benefactor, Jesus Christ. To “remember the poor” is natural for those who live in the grace of God. So come Sunday, and let’s consider the poor!