This Sunday I am preaching a message entitled: Go to the Poor. It’s causing me a lot of tension on the Monday before. Our church really does care for the poor … one of elements I like about this Vineyard.
But I’ve been thinking about it today as I sit here at my desk in my blue oxford-cloth shirt. Let me ask you. Do you think I have more in common with the man in this picture?
Or do you think I have more in common with this child?
Here you have the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. Michael Jordan represents the richest of the rich. This starving African child is seen with a waiting vulture. The defenseless child represents the poorest of the poor.
Jesus himself came from a poor family. He sided with the poor, talked about the poor, fed the poor and healed the poor. Jesus once said, "The poor you will always have with you."
Michael Jordan has cars and money. I have cars and money. He has health insurance. I have health insurance. He has investments. I have investments. Michael Jordan takes trips. I take trips. Michael Jordan can eat but one chicken. I can eat but one chicken.
I am preaching a sermon on going to the poor. But I am preaching it as man who is among the richest of the rich, the elite of the world. It would be utterly disingenuous and hypocritical to admit anything less.
Jesus went to parties at the homes of rich people. He gladly let rich women support his ministry. Talk about a guy who was comfortable in his own skin. And yet, Jesus had no compunction about telling a very wealthy and winsome young man to sell everything he had and give it to the poor, if he wanted to inherit eternal life. Do that, Jesus told the young man, and then become one of my followers.
Sad to say, the young man unhappily went away because he was very wealthy and would not part with his money.
Jesus was a man who perfectly understood this proverb: "The Rich and the poor have this in common. The Lord made them both." Proverbs 22:2