A certain scribe came to the Lord Jesus Christ saying, “Master, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest”. Jesus answered, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matt. 8:19-20 KJV). Stated otherwise, the Lord Jesus was telling the scribe, will you follow me in spite of my poverty? Or, are you prepared to make a sacrifice with me?
Before discussing further, let me say something about scribes.
“A scribe is a person who writes books or documents by hand as a profession and helps the city keep track of its records. The profession, previously found in all literate cultures in some form, lost most of its importance and status with the advent of printing. The work could involve copying books, including sacred texts, or secretarial and administrative duties such as taking of dictation and the keeping of business, judicial and historical records for kings, nobility, temples and cities. Later the profession developed into public servants, journalists, accountants, typists, and lawyers.”
Jesus Christ gave up His exalted position in the heavenly courts, and laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He exchanged His divinity with humanity. For our sakes He chose to become poor in earthly riches that we, through his poverty, might be rich (2 Cor. 8:9).
Christ came to this world to live a life of perfect obedience to the laws of God’s kingdom. He said, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17) He taught his disciples and the multitudes who went to hear him, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17 KJV).
He could have come in power and great glory, escorted by a multitude of angels, but He chose to come in humility, of lowly parentage - - that of a simple carpenter’s son - - and he was not born in a first class hospital with everything sanitized to prevent infection, but in an unsanitary manger among animals. He was brought up in an obscure and despised village called Nazareth. Someone asked, “Is there anything good that comes from Nazareth?” Yes, there is. The savior of the world, the only source of true riches, happiness, joy, and eternal life was born there. He demonstrated a way of simple living - - a simple way of life identifying himself with the ordinary human being. As an illustrious and diligent carpenter’s son, he must have used his muscles to help his earthly father in the latter’s daily routine. He worked his way in the ordinary manner of a normal poor human being. He has given humanity no encouragement to think that material riches and extraordinary intellect make anyone worthy of serving God and deserve eternal life. He initially chose the lowly unschooled fishermen as his disciples. It was only afterwards that Dr. Luke, a physician; Dr. Gamaliel, a doctor of laws; and lawyer Apostle Paul became his disciples, too. Stated differently, God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). The poor, unschooled or uneducated who are willing to serve the kingdom of God in any manner of ministry that fits his God-given talent, are all equal in the eyes of God. He demonstrated by His manner of life that simplicity and humility is the proper conduct and way of a peaceful life. In Him are found all the excellencies necessary to absolute perfection of character of a fulfilling and satisfying life.
It is submission to and being a slave to sin that brings the great unhappiness of the soul.
Thus, the sinful and unrepentant without fear of God usually are in hiding and in seclusion from society. They shun fellowship with the disciples of Christ. In fact, they hate the followers of Christ. These people are a hindrance to their agenda.
It is not poverty but disobedience that prevents us from gaining eternal life and joy and peace of life, which the Savior came to bring us. True riches, true peace, true contentment, enduring happiness and joy – these are found only in entire surrender to God’s will which are found in the canonized Bible. We will know the will of God by personal study (or reading) or by hearing the Word of God taught or preached by faithful ministers of the Word. The great Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans (from out of whom the Roman Catholic Church was born), “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17 KJV).
Christ came to our world to live a life of stainless purity, thus to show sinners that in His strength they, too, can obey God’s holy precepts, the laws of His kingdom.
It was from the Father that Christ constantly drew the power that enabled Him to keep His life free from spot or stain of sin. So must a Christian do. But it is written, no one is perfect, not one is righteous by himself (Ps. 14:1-3; Acts 3:10-12). What then? Jesus Christ, the perfect and righteous one is our only hope of glory; that every man be perfect in Christ Jesus (Col. 1:27-28). For its appropriateness, I wish to quote once again what I wrote in our January 28, 2012 Bulletin issue, as follows:
“Apostle Paul tells us ‘Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful WISDOM of God (1 Cor. 1:24). Therefore, this strenuous search for WISDOM is actually a search for God himself, or in person, JESUS CHRIST, our SAVIOR and LORD (Prov. 2:3-5). In fact, inner happiness or joy comes when man finds this WISDOM [the LORD Jesus Christ] (Prov. 3:13).
If we have Christ in our heart, we have WISDOM which according to King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived on the face of the earth, “WISDOM is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding” (Prov. 4:7 KJV), and we possess the true riches and righteousness on earth that will surely land us in heaven. (FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulletin July 28, 2012)