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 of God.

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 their houses.’

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 his future!

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 dwellings.

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 the rich!

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 new covenant?

He doesn't! God is not a respecter of persons.

Best wishes for Grace and The Peace of Jesus.


Another thought....

If Jesus was rich - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7