Week beginning: 9th October, 2016 | By Dominic Hughes | London
'All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.'Galatians 2 v 10 (NIV)
The whole book of Galatians completely demolishes the argument that we are saved by what we do. Paul repeatedly shows us that it's through faith in Christ – and not our own works – that we are saved.
Yet in the context of that demolition job on a philosophy of works, it's interesting to note the works that Paul is eager to do (not as a way to be saved, but as a natural response in the life of someone who is saved). He is eager – in the words of 2:10 – "to remember the poor".
In some areas of law (mine included), it's easy to live in a sort of artificial bubble where your clients are comparatively wealthy, your colleagues are wealthy and your friends have had all the benefits of a university education. And even if we give money to ministries for the poor we might do so at arms-length and not actually understand the lives of the poor and the oppressed.
Wherever we're at, let's remember how the Lord Jesus – resplendent in power and riches in Heaven – chose to live whilst He was on earth. He hung out with the poor and the oppressed. He touched lepers. He befriended social outcasts and the downtrodden. True – He also spent time with the rich and powerful too. But if we want to be like Him we need to understand not just the perspective of the rich but also that of the poor.
1. Thank God that all power and authority is vested in the One who understands and loves even the poorest and weakest in society.
2. Pray that, if our lives are sheltered in an artificial bubble, we would be better at reaching out to the poor and the oppressed and understanding their pressures.