“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” – Luke 6:20-26
We have at times been asked (and wondered ourselves) why we would choose to work with a minority people group when we could work with those who would be more likely to have a world-wide impact. The thinking is that if a Bakoum person comes to know Christ, he may be instrumental for the Kingdom among those who are in his village, but he will likely never travel nor write anything that could influence the masses. Conversely, if those who speak languages of wider communication come to Christ their impact for the Kingdom could be global. Why then invest our lives in a people group that will likely have very little influence? Our response is…
James 2:5 asks, “has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?”
Jesus said in the beatitudes that his Kingdom belongs to the poor. So does that mean that all the people in our village are automatically guaranteed a place in Heaven because they are poor? Absolutely not, being poor is not what justifies. But it does mean they are more likely to be chosen by God, granted faith, and justified before the Father through faith. It is neither the rich nor the influential that God has chosen to be heirs of the kingdom but rather the destitute.
Jesus also presented the other side of the same coin in Luke 18:24 when he said “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Although not impossible with God, it is very difficult for the wealthy to be a part of God’s kingdom. Think of how difficult it is in developed countries to persuade people that God exists and he has spoken to us through the Bible. This is simply not the case here. That there is a Creator God who has the right to tell us what to do and not to do is a presupposition that is not challenged in the least. Why? Because God has them the grace to accept this simple truth. The poor may not have a voice in the kingdoms of the world today, but the Lord has chosen themto believe and will later give them his kingdom.
Very few in God’s Kingdom are considered wise according to the world, not many rulers of the world fear him, there are few of “royal blood” called by God. Instead the Lord has chosen to grant faith to those of whom the powerful scoff. In the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29: