“For you know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.”II Corinthians 8:9, ESV
When I read this verse, I can’t help but think about Father William Wilson, the founder of Amistad Mission in Bolivia. Many give to the poor out of abundance. Fewer give to the poor sacrificially. Almost no one voluntarily gives up everything to live with the poor. And that is exactly what Father William did.
God has used Father William’s life to bring the above verse alive to remind me of the astounding generosity of our Savior the Messiah, Jesus.
Father William felt that God was calling him to do something about the injustice of the oppression of the poorest in society. Before moving to Bolivia, he wrote a letter to his friend, explaining his calling.
“I feel that God is leading me to Bolivia where the poorest of the poor are living. It is my desire and my only desire to live amongst the poor, to pray for them, to be with them in their poverty, to lift up Christ for them in their spiritual poverty and to learn what it means to be totally dependent on Jesus for my own.” (from Amistad, Stories of Service through Friendship by Valerie Henry).
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15,16, ESV).”
Jesus left the riches of Heaven to give us all access to the throne of grace. When John the Baptist identified Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29),” I wonder if anyone in the crowd remembered Isaiah 53, the prophecy of the Messiah as the ultimate and final guilt offering.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – every one – to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”Isaiah 53:6, ESV
“For thus says the LORD GOD: ‘Behold, I, I Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. (Ezekiel 34:11, ESV).”
Jesus reminds us of the above prophecy in Ezekiel when He declares, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11, ESV)” And again when He told Zacchaeus, “’For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (see Luke 19:10).’”
Wow. When God promised that He Himself would come and seek out the lost sheep, He meant it. God came to earth and did the job Himself!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…..And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”John 1:1, 14, ESV
God’s free gift of grace was delivered personally through Jesus Christ. He left the riches of heaven to dwell among us (poor in every way without Him) and to become the final guilt offering.
Praise God for fulfilling His promise to His people, and delivering it personally, through Jesus Christ, His Son!
“Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!” II Corinthians 9:15, ESV
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