From Riches to Rags

LeRoy Koopman

READ : 2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Horatio Alger, the patron saint of three generations of American boys, authored over a hundred books, including Sink or Swim, Luck and Pluck, and Rags to Riches. The latter title was really the theme of the entire series.

People have always been intrigued by the theme of rags to riches. Cinderella marries the prince, the poor boy from the inner city makes it to the Bulls, and the understudy gets her big chance when the star gets laryngitis.

The story of Jesus, according to verse 9, is a rags to riches story in reverse: “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor.” For the Son of God, it was riches to rags. In the incarnation, Christ experienced the rags of limited human existence as contrasted with the riches of the eternal Word; the squalor of earth compared to the purity of heaven.

During His earthly life Jesus wore the rags of poverty. He was born in a stable. He never owned a home. He rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey and ate His last meal in a borrowed room. On the cross He experienced the greatest poverty of all the absence of the Father. “My God, my God,” He cried, “why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). And at the end His body was wrapped in the rags of death. (To be continued tomorrow)


May we never forget, Lord God, the sacrifice Jesus made just by becoming one of us. In His name. Amen.