2 Corinthians 8:9 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. ESV
Throughout his letters, Paul often referred to the riches of God.
- …the riches of his goodness… Romans 2:4
- …the riches of his glory… Romans 9:23
- …the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! Romans 11:33
- …the riches of his grace… Ephesians 1:7
- But God, who is rich in mercy… Ephesians 2:4
In today’s passage we Paul speaking of the richness of Christ. How rich was the Son of God before He came to this earth? On one occasion Jesus prayed, “Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.’ (John 17:5 NLT) Before Jesus came to this earth, He shared an equal part in the glory of His Father. According to scripture, this glory included both a majestic throne and the worship of angels. (see Isaiah 66:1; Hebrews 1:6; John 12:41; Isaiah 6:1-3) Paul also gives us more insight into the richness of Jesus in the book of Colossians.
Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell… ESV
What does Paul tell us about Jesus?
1) He is the Creator of everything and He has done so for His own glory and pleasure
2) He is the one who holds this universe together and keeps is running
3) He alone deserves to have preeminence (first place) in everything, both here on earth and in heaven
4) In Him, all the fullness of God dwells (All the glories of God can be found in Jesus)
Paul not only tells us that Jesus was rich; he also tells us that Jesus became poor. “…though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor…” What a contrast! He who was extravagantly wealthy became extravagantly poor.
Many years ago Mark Twain wrote a book entitled, ‘The Prince and the Pauper.’ In this book, two boys who were born the same day, decided to trade places so that they could experience each others life. One boy was the prince of England. The other boy was a poor beggar who lived in the streets. While the beggar boy experienced the luxuries of a palace, the prince soon discovered the cruelties of poverty.
That simple little story is a perfect illustration of what Paul is trying to teach us in 2 Corinthians 8. It’s hard to imagine why Jesus would leave all the glories of heaven in order to come and live a humble life here on earth. Yet Paul tells us why. “…though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.” Praise God for such a gracious Savior!