Tuesday, October 16, 2012

God’s Money – Part 2 of 3

Luxembourg Christmas Market
Photo by Debbie Shiel
Perhaps you’ve heard people say that to be godly you have to be poor and miserable. Some Christians depict Jesus as a weak, blond-haired, blue-eyed man who lived a deprived life. First of all, Jesus was a Jew from the Middle East, so He would have had dark hair and dark eyes with an olive complexion. And yes, He was born in a stable, but only because there was no room in the inn. Joseph could have paid for something better, but Father God allowed the Son of God to be placed in a manger instead. This was His birth place, but it wasn’t His home.

Sometime later, wise men brought Him some very expensive gifts. Was this the same Jesus who was born in a stable and had a manger for a bed? Did He need such costly gifts? Didn’t someone in church once say that God provides only our needs? Is poverty really true godliness?

Certainly, Jesus didn’t live a life of luxury. He knew what it felt like to work hard to earn a living. He also knew what it was like to be in full-time ministry without a fixed income, but His regular provisions were not meager. There were some women of good standing who were noted for their financial support. Even the disciples had money in the general purse. We know this because Judas was said to have stolen from it.

Many of the dialogues with Jesus took place at meal times where He was the guest of honor. When the crowds were hungry, on two occasions, Jesus demonstrated compassion by performing the miracle of the multiplication of food. Not only did they eat their fill, but there was some left over as well.

When we read about Jesus’ crucifixion, we find out that He wore a special garment. As the story goes, the guards divided up His clothes among themselves. When they saw His cloak, they realized it was valuable as it was seamless, so they chose to gamble for it. Does this sound like a Messiah who walked around in poor men’s clothes?

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