“He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.”
This verse goes with yesterday’s, and David did a great job with the lead.
Here are the ways the verses work together:
Hating the Poor Neighbor
“The poor is hated even of his own neighbour“. A poor man is hated by his neighbor, because many people immediately think about those who borrow money or things with promises of returning them but never do. In other words, they see the poor, even friends of theirs at times, as moochers and robbers.
Is it fair? Sometimes, in the case of those who really are moochers and robbers. However …
“He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth“. As mentioned previously, when asked by an expert of the law about loving your neighbor, Jesus’ answer essentially was that all people are our neighbors. Regardless of how people live their lives or their level of prosperity (or lack thereof), we are to love them.
Friends to All
“… but the rich hath many friends.” Many rich people seem to give money to make friends, buy their friends, if you will. I posit that this is not the intent of that verse.
“… but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” This verse explains why the rich have many friends. It is the person who looks on that friend down on his luck and helps. It is the person who looks on the person in need and is there.
Jesus is the Answer
Anyone is capable of doing merciful things for others. Jesus basically said so in Matthew 7 and Luke 11.
The difference for the Christian should be love. Not just any love, but the love of God as expressed through Jesus Christ. We must be willing to sacrifice for others. 1 Corinthians 13:3 (NIV) says “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
We can all make friends, but, to use a phrase that has been over-used in recent times, the best friend to make is Jesus. Most people come to meet Him through our mercy and generosity.
Merciful Lord, thank You for loving us through Your richness of grace, mercy, and love. Though we were poor in these, You reached out for us. Through Your Holy Spirit, increase Your grace, mercy, and love in us, that we may reach our world for Your glory.