‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich’ (2 Cor 8:9).
There are an infinite number of terms we could use to describe Jesus. Terms come to our minds as we try to contemplate who it is that we worship: holy, mighty, righteous, loving, compassionate. Entire sermons can and have been given, entire books can and have been written on these aspects of Jesus’ character.
One term which may not come immediately to our mind is ‘generous.’ As Paul says in this verse, Jesus gave up the riches he had in heaven, all for us. Just imagine the riches of heaven. Not that Scrooge McDuck image, with a vast vault of gold to swim in! (Though unlimited resources of gold, and other precious metals and stones clearly belong to him.)
Far beyond these things we consider riches, there is something far greater and valuable belonging to Jesus: the eternal glory he had with the Father from the very beginning. Once he was unencumbered by a physical body, free from pain and various cravings.
But in his incarnation, when he took on flesh, he ‘made himself nothing’ (Phil 2:7). ‘He became poor’ for us, as the one who is infinite took on a finite body, all so we could become rich through his poverty! All so we could have forgiveness of sin, escape the judgement of God, and live forever with God as Father. So we could be resurrected as he has been resurrected, never again to taste sin and disease and death.
Our Lord has been so generous to us. Have you considered how you could better imitate him? What could you do to be more generous?