A L O O K I N T O T H E A P O S T L E ' S H E A R T
Giving is our topic this week. We’ve already looked at what it means to give, and to give generously. Now it’s time to look at the greatest Gift ever given and the One who bestowed this blessing upon us. It’s time to look at Jesus’ mind-blowing gift to us.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
~II Corinthians 8:9
This verse is powerful, convicting, and difficult to wrap our minds around. The One who made everything, is in control of all things, and richer than the wealthiest man who ever lived, gave it all up for us. He was rich, yet He became poor. He was omnipotent, yet He became humanly frail like us. He was eternal, yet He stepped down into time. The thought that though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor does not even begin to encompass all that Jesus did for us.
However, Paul was trying to make a point. He was backing up his exhortations with the example of Christ. He was showing the Corinthians that Christ gave everything for them, so how could they not give to others?
II Corinthians 8:9 is often quoted or memorized out of context. I know that I’m guilty of this. It has a beautiful poetic ring to it. Yet how often we overlook what it’s actually saying within the context of the passage!
By itself, this verse has the impression of an allegory or metaphor. However, Paul was literally talking about wealth. He wasn’t trying to give a poetic simile or paint a pretty image, but rather, he was actually talking about the wealthy giving so much that they become poor so that those impoverished might become rich. That’s love! That’s generosity! That’s what Christ did for us.
The Prince of heaven, Son of God, Creator of all things gave up everything for us—impoverished, sinful people stuck in the bondage of sin. Why? So that through Him we might become rich. Because divinity took on humanity, because the Creator became like the creation, because the King of kings joined the ranks of slaves, because Jesus Christ the Son of God walked among us and gave us everything, we now have an inheritance that is imperishable and beyond our wildest dreams. Because Jesus became poor, we are rich.
So should we not share this wealth with others? It’s a wealth undeserved and unearned, given by a generous God. So we also ought to freely and generously give to those in need. For we have experienced the overwhelming love of God through His great gift to us.
Therefore, because we have been so blessed, let us go bless others. Why? Because God gave us the greatest Gift of all in Jesus. So let us be generous, remembering this promise from Jesus:
“…give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”