If Jesus Was Rich, Why Do I Have To Be Poor (4)?
Recently I've had a number of people tell me that the gospel of Jesus
Christ is not a "Health and Wealth" gospel.
Now I would understand this stance if the claim were being made that the
gospel was only about "Health and Wealth", but many think the gospel
includes these things, for those whose priority is the kingdom
As Jesus said in Matthew 6:33.
Mat 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
And it has been said that, "If Jesus was rich, why do I have
to be poor?"
So, Is "Health and Wealth" included in the gospel, or not? Which is true and
what did Jesus tell us about using money?
Let's look now at a parable of Jesus in the book of Luke.
Luk 16:1-9 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who
had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was
wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him,
‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your
management, for you can no longer be manager.’
And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master
is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to
dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that
when I am removed from management, people may receive me into
So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first,
‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures
of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and
write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’
He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him,
‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For
the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own
generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for
yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails
they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
We see first of all that this servant although he had stolen a lot
of money had not used any of it to support his future. It was all blown
on fast living and expensive toys! He had nothing to fall back on when
things turned against him. He was not wise!
Then he set up provision for his future by giving his master's creditors
smaller bills than they should have! He was now using his head to secure
Jesus tells us that the master commended him for doing this. Not for
stealing of course! He commended him for being wise/shrewd enough
now to use money to build a future. This is the wisest use to which we
can put money.
And Jesus' own comment on the parable is this, "Use your own wealth to
make friends so that when it fails they will receive you into eternal
This suggests, to me at least, that it would be good to have some
'unrighteous wealth' to use in this way!
So (my translation) we should use our wealth to help those coming
into the kingdom so that when we die (money fails to be of use) we will
be welcomed (given a guard of honour or be met by those we helped) as
we rise into the kingdom of God.
Either way, that is Jesus' comment or my translation, it's good to
have wealth and be wise enough to use it in this life to build a future
in the age to come!
But some might say, "Didn't Jesus tell the rich young man to sell
all that he had and give to the poor"? This is in Matthew 19:21.
Mat 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you
possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven;
and come, follow me.”
Now we should notice that Jesus did not say 'give it ALL to the poor'!
He said 'give to the poor'!
Under the law one had to give a proportion of what one had to help
the poor and including tithing this was a max of 30%. So Jesus'
request was for the young man to give up 30% of his holdings and he
couldn't do it! But what God wants is people who will help others
out of the wealth that He gives them power to obtain. And note that
this is another occasion when Jesus tells us using our wealth in this
way will build up our treasures in heaven!
This would be why God delights in the prosperity of His servants.
He knows how we can use that wealth wisely! Though we have to see
things from God's point of view not through the eyes of men who
impute a false piety on being poor. Poverty does not bring piety!
In fact the 'poor' can be just as money-grabbing and greedy as
Ps 35:27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my
vindication; And let them say continually, "The LORD be magnified,
Who delights in the prosperity of His servant(s)."
So if Jesus and God the Father see good uses for wealth in this life
and delighted in His people of old having it, one wonders why some
would think that Jesus would want us to live in poverty under the
He doesn't! God is not a respecter of persons.
Best wishes for Grace and The Peace of Jesus.
If Jesus was rich -