In each of our lives we continually cross paths with those who are poor in some way.
- Poor in health or appearance
- Poor intelligence
- Poorly placed in some demeaning or humble situation
- Poor communicators
- Those with a ‘poor me’ attitude
How well do you treat these people? Are you aware of their presence in your life? There are people who seem ‘little’ to us, but they are all ‘great’ in God’s eyes.
I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Jesus loves you. The rest of us think you are an a—hole.”
There is an attitude in the world that says, “Don’t waste your time on people that are insignificant. Look for the best crowd and become just like them.”
People knock others out of the way trying to succeed.
How are you doing? Have you elbowed any little people out of the way to secure yourself a better place in some situation?
These ‘poor’ folk get treated like doormats in the world… just a thing to wipe your feet on as you pass by.
Jesus knows these poor, beggar-like people and He says they are blessed. ‘Blessed are the poor for they will inherit the earth.’
Jesus told a story about a God-loved person named Lazarus who was a doormat to a nameless rich man.
19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'
25 "But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
27 "He answered, `Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house,
28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
29 "Abraham replied, `They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
30 "`No, father Abraham,' he said, `but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
31 "He said to him, `If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
We shake our heads at the self-centred rich man. If we have been treated humbly in this world we identify with the poor man and take comfort knowing that God sees and will treat us better than this world has.
We need to understand a key point that Jesus was trying to make, though. He was talking to the people who were more likely to live their lives like the rich man. Jesus was giving us some insight into the kind of person who tramples others underfoot.