Good News to the Poor – Gospel in Life

Good News to the Poor

Tim Keller |  March 28, 2010

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  • Prophecy
  • Mercy & Justice
Isaiah 58:6-10
RS 319-09

Isaiah 58:6–10; 61:1–4

Isaiah’s words tell us that Jesus, also known as the Servant of the Lord, came to rescue us and to look after those who are poor. Jesus himself taught from Isaiah 61 that he came to bring hope to those who have very little. Those who believe Jesus’ story are encouraged to help those who are poor, thinking about the future, the present, and the past.

1. The future

When Jesus talked about the year of the Lord’s favor, he was pointing to a future where everything wrong, like poverty, unfairness, hunger, sickness, and pain, won’t exist anymore. This amazing time, which Jesus said was coming, is better than the Jubilee described in Leviticus 25, where every 50 years, people’s debts were canceled and slaves were set free. Believers are invited to live like this future is real by helping to mend what’s broken and by feeding those who are hungry, showing that they trust God’s plan for the future.

2. The present

God reminds us to work for justice by freeing people who are trapped and by caring for those who need help, making us understand that everything we have is a gift from God, not just something we’ve earned. We’re reminded to treat everyone like they’re part of our own family, because they’re all made in God’s image, and our duty to them is not just about charity but about doing what’s right. The reason believers should help the poor comes from Jesus’ story, which tells us that our relationship with God and with each other matters more than feeling guilty.

3. The past

The connection between making up for our mistakes and caring for those who don’t have much is explored, showing that the people of Israel didn’t fully understand what fasting was about. Real fasting is not just about going through the motions, but about helping and caring for those who are poor, showing what we believe and how we understand God’s love. Remembering and being grateful for God’s generosity should make us want to deeply love and help those who are overlooked.



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