This week we want to highlight a child born into poverty a few thousand years ago. His parents had very little money but went a on long journey in order to pay their taxes as required by the law of their land at the time.
When they arrived in their hometown, no one had room to take them inside so they found a place where animals were kept that was probably a cave of sorts. In that place, a child sent from God came into the world who would change the course of history.
He was God’s very Son who put on human flesh to come to earth. He wasn’t born into a rich family or the house of an earthly king. Like many of the children we hear about from around the world each week, this child had very little money or opportunities.
We know that Jesus was poor because:
- He was born in a place used to house animals not people
- He was laid in a manger – a container for animal food not babies
- His clothes were swaddling rags not fine garments
The New Testament was originally written in the Greek language. The word translated “swaddling” indicates that Jesus was wrapped in pieces of old castoff clothing which were cut up into strips.
So Jesus was born poor. His parents were given some gifts by the wise men that probably greatly helped their financial situation for a time. Jesus’s father was a carpenter who provided for his family, but Jesus probably never experienced great wealth.
As Jesus grew up and began His ministry at the age of 30, He continued to focus on people and God’s truth over material things. He told His followers, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)
Though He was wasn’t rich in things, Jesus paid the highest price. He was the only One who could make the spiritual payment for all the wrong things each one of us has done. After suffering betrayal, pain, and wrongful accusations, He died on the cross to make a way for people to have relationship with a perfect God.
Now, when we believe and accept Christ’s payment for our sin, God looks down on us through the red lens of Christ’s blood and sees us clean. He sees us “just as if we never sinned” (justified) because of what Jesus did for us.
2 Corinthians 8:9b says, “Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich.”
We pray this Christmas you are experiencing richness – not through lots of presents, parties, and treats. We hope you are rich in peace, hope, and joy that come through the celebration of what a child born into poverty did for any that would receive Him.
***This will be our last post for 2013 so that we can celebrate Christ with our families. See you again in January!
- How do we know that Jesus was born into poverty?
- What kind of “getting rich” do most people celebrate at Christmas – spiritual or materially wealth?
- What things help you focus on spiritual riches at Christmas?
Pray for children this Christmas season who don’t have food, clean water, or shelter.
Ways you can get involved: Take the opportunity as a family to celebrate your spiritual riches by helping the poor during this holiday. Here are some ideas:
- Adopt a family to buy gifts for.
- If you sponsor a child, work together to prepare a gift for them.
- Get involved with helping serve with a group like the Salvation Army or local charitable organization.
“Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9b