Jesus Christ . . . became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich
In a surprising headline in 2010, Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder announced that he was selling all of his properties and businesses. At age forty-seven, he had become convinced that he needed to stop what he was doing and begin his real life. His goal was to “have nothing left, absolutely nothing.” So he set up an organization to help people in developing countries and transferred all his money to its accounts. Rabeder, a rich man, made himself poor in order to enrich the lives of the needy.
That’s not a bad image to consider today. Like Karl Rabeder, Jesus emptied himself for us so that we could be filled with his spiritual riches.
Jesus was seated with the Father and the Holy Spirit in heaven. He felt no need or shortage at all—only perfect harmony, love, majesty, and holiness. Not only that, but at his word, glorious things came to be. It’s hard to imagine any greater richness than that.
And yet as rich as he was, he gave it all up when he came to earth. He was born in a stable to a poor carpenter and his wife. He spent his childhood in simplicity, learning his father’s trade. He became a wandering rabbi, traveling the countryside and healing the broken and the sick. He spent sleepless nights in prayer and endless days ministering to the needy. And in the end, when he most needed their support, all his friends abandoned him, leaving him to die a shameful death alone.
Why did he go through all of that? Simply to make you rich. He set aside his glory so that he could give you unlimited forgiveness, access to heaven, and the ability to know God in a personal way. Because of the riches of his grace, you can walk with him and love other people as fully as he did.
Why live like a pauper when Jesus has made you rich? Don’t be afraid to ask him for more—more mercy, more forgiveness, more wisdom, more joy. Jesus doesn’t want to see you living like you’re bankrupt. He gave everything up to make you spiritually rich!
Word Among Us