Blessed are the Poor!

Isaiah prophesied the words eight centuries before Christ coming: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners” (Isa. 61:1) How amazing when Jesus later read this and proclaimed its fulfillment. How much more amazing was it that when Jesus did come to earth it was the poor shepherds, the rustic field hands that first received and proclaimed this news to others.
Isn’t it great when the poor or downtrodden get good news? Good news more often finds the rich or well to do. On this divine night the poor or simple got the news first. The rich or higher ups had no idea of its happening.
The shepherds response was amazement, wonder, joy, and proclamation. We sing of it still today in songs like “Good Christian Men Rejoice”. This was news made especially for the poor! This Jesus/Savior the angels proclaimed would take away their sins. Good news for all with sins be you rich or poor, yet it seems to me the humble and poor in physical state are less school in smugness so they are more honest about their sins – making them more open to receive the good news.
This Christmas no matter what your physical surrounding or your financial standing is, let us all realize we are spiritually bankrupt before a Pure and Holy God. We are all poor and in great need of a Savior King born to free us. So let us think about the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3) as He shares that “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Let us all respond like the Shepherds in amazement, let’s gather around the manger of our LORD and worship Him, then let us go and proclaim His saving power to all the other poor people in need of salvation.
In His Service,
Eric Barnes