Reading “He was rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Rank and wealth may exist apart from each other. In Jesus they were combined. He could not be the divinest, and not be the richest being in the universe; the Creator, and not the owner of all worlds. Moreover, He could say, “All souls are mine”—a wealth second only to the affluence of His own absolute Godhead. Thus He becomes a study for a rich Christian oppressed with the anxieties, exposed to the snares, armed with the power, and speeding to the final judgment with the responsibilities and the solemn account of wealth!
Jesus ascribed His wealth to God. While asserting essential deity, He acknowledged His dependence upon His Father as the mediator and redeemer of man. In this light we interpret His remarkable declaration: “The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do.” “As the Father has life in Himself, so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” To God you owe your wealth, Christian. Your own efforts and skill had been a failure but for His enriching blessing. Do not say in your heart, “My power and the might of mine hand has gotten me this wealth.” Do you give God the glory? “But you shall remember the Lord your God: for it is He that gives you power to get wealth.” As you survey and count your treasured gold and speculate on your profitable investments, do you in your heart gratefully and devoutly acknowledge, “I owe all this to God!”
Jesus, though rich, was destitute of the pride of wealth. Human pride is one of the most operative causes of self-destruction, and wealth is its prolific parent. “Behold,” says God to Jerusalem. “This was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride and fullness of bread.” The poor are often oppressed with a sense of their insignificance, but the rich are prone to be inflated and to have self-important pride compassing them about as a chain.
Jesus was free from the worldliness of wealth. The rich are peculiarly exposed to the world. Study Jesus! With the world at His command, how unworldly! Many a wealthy professor has made shipwreck of his faith, character, and usefulness for the lack of studying Jesus, swept away by the irresistible force of unsanctified riches. “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” Oh! beware of the world!
Jesus devoted His riches to the glory of God. Is your wealth thus devoted? Is “Holiness to the Lord” impressed upon your coin? Whose superscription does it bear? Christ has poor brethren needing help. His cause languishes from lack of support. His devoted, faithful ministers, many of them, are in financial need. Oh, liberally scatter your wealth, and as you lay it down at the feet of Jesus, exclaim with lowliness and gratitude, “Of Your own have I given You, dearest Lord!”
Taken from Consider Jesus: Thoughts for Daily Duty, Service, and Suffering by Octavius Winslow, 1870 (public domain).