by Jeffrey Hamilton
Text: Isaiah 61:1-3
I. The good news is a message to the afflicted - Isaiah 61:1
A. This is the passage Jesus chose to read in his hometown - Luke 4:16-21
B. When John began to doubt Jesus, Jesus again referred to this passage - Luke 7:22-23
C. Jesus declared that the kingdom, the church belongs to the poor - Luke 6:20
II. Wealth causes problem
A. Jesus noted that it was difficult for the rich to be saved - Matthew 19:23
B. It is not the money itself that is the problem but the effect it has on a person’s thinking.
1. The wealthy tend to become arrogant and forget their origins - I Timothy 6:17-19
2. They trust themselves instead of God - Proverbs 11:28
C. This was the downfall of a whole congregation - Revelation 3:17
D. The attitude creeps in and affects behavior - James 5:1-6
III. In contrast, the poor tend to be oppressed and in need of a defender
A. God raises the poor from the dust where they have fallen - Psalms 113:5-8
B. The poor understand how fragile is their life and their dependence on many things, especially God.
1. Thus, it influences their behavior - Proverbs 18:23
2. Of the two groups, the poor tend to see the world more accurately - Proverbs 28:11
C. A good king will deliver the poor when they cry out to him - Psalms 72:12-14
1. The King of kings has concern for the poor - Isaiah 66:1-2
IV. Blessed are the poor in spirit - Matthew 5:3
A. Jesus is talking about those who have the mind set of the poor.
B. You cannot enter the kingdom with the mind set of the rich.
C. You can be poor without being poor in spirit. You can be rich without having the arrogance of the rich.
1. You don’t have to be rich to be prideful - Luke 18:9-14
2. You don’t have to be poor to be humble - Luke 18:15-17
D. The kingdom belongs to those who realize that they cannot direct their own steps - Jeremiah 10:23
1. They will not argue with God about the terms He chooses to use to grant His mercy
V. Many people are unable to come to God as beggars
A. Their pride holds them back - James 4:4-10
B. Pity them because they are doomed to remain in spiritual poverty while the poor in spirit are enriched by the wealth of God’s kingdom - James 1:9-11
C. Will you submit this day to God?