Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:…
I. WEALTH IS COMPATIBLE WITH PERSONAL RELIGION. Some, in successive ages of the world, have been arrested by Divine grace amidst the splendour of high estate, and, feeling that these are but a paltry portion for a spirit fallen by sin and doomed to immortality, have sought a richer boon — a nobler birthright. Many, too, who were brought to Christ when moving in a humble sphere have, by diligence, honesty, and temperance, become the possessors of a considerable amount of worldly riches. And fearful though it be for a man to be rich before he is converted, and necessary as vigilance ever is, as to others, so not least to the rich believer, piety may flourish as truly in the sumptuous hall as at the cottage-hearth.
II. THE RICH BROTHER IS LOWLY. He knows the grandeur and purity of God, and he knows the weakness and corruption of his own soul. He feels how unsatisfactory earthly possessions are. He realises that decisive event which is sure to scatter man's accumulated treasures to the winds, and to lay all earthly honours in the dust. And as for the faith which brought peace and safety to his soul, and the piety that holds its dwelling in his heart, he is ready to exclaim (1 Corinthians 15:10).
III. THE RICH BROTHER IS HERE CALLED TO TRIUMPH IN HIS LOWLINESS. Christian humility, on the part of the wealthy believer, is a favourable symptom of his state. It is, according to an oft-repeated principle of Scripture, a prelude of future advancement in the scale of dignity and blessedness. It is an important qualification for a considerate distribution of wealth among the destitute. And finally, it is what the unsatisfactoriness, and transitoriness of earthly riches, and the weakness, as well as sinfulness, of their possessor, may well inspire.
(A. S. Patterson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: