As a retread English major I have a special heart for the way this is put together with a building proof. The ill, infirmed and disabled are healed, even more impressive the dead are brought back to life, and most impressive of all the Good News is being told to the poor.
Can't you see someone rushing in to Vladimir Putin or Steven Spielberg or Stephen Hawking and saying, "Wow, healed, raised and concerned with the poor!" and any of these important people saying, "Really, concerned with the well-being of the poor? But is that really as important as ruling nations or creating great art or thinking great thoughts? I mean, healing and raising, yes, that could benefit me, but what is so important about the poor?" (Just for clarity, I only use these names because they are people the world sees as powerful, but really, would most of us have focused on the final proof, the one with the most weight and said, "Wow, that caring for the poor thing is most important for me to remember"? I've read this passage many times and it was just this week that I noticed where God put the most emphasis, so I am pointing NO fingers in this.)
What I am is blown away, because when I think about this, who really is known for the caring of the poor? If we lay aside a hand-full of rare God-centric people, then really not much of anybody. From the earliest recorded times the poor have always been at best ignored and most often exploited. I am not an expert in the religions of the world, but I don't see much in the way of real focus there either. As human beings we are all about the bling, baby.
But GOD says carrying the Good News to the poor is part of what sets our Jehovah-nissi, our great I AM, apart from posers and wanna-be deities who are really just a human idea of what the greatest being of all beings might be like. Who in all the earth would think up THAT? That Christ attending to the poor was proof of who sent Him!
Here Jesus, Son of God, tells us who He is and who His Father is: the champion of the poor, be they poor in worldly goods, poor in physical or mental health, poor in good judgement or strong character, poor in education, poor in political power, poor in placement in the world pecking order...there is no child of God's creation who is not important to God. By this we know who we are, clearly see who is important...each and every one of us.
Pardon me while I sit quietly a moment and consider what I need to reorder in my own life with this new understanding.