If Jesus Was Rich, Why Do I Have To Be Poor (5)?
Recently I've had a number of people tell me that the gospel of Jesus
Christ is not a "Health and Wealth" gospel. Heard at a meeting, I gather.
Now I would understand this stance if the claim were being made that the
gospel was only about "Health and Wealth", but why think the gospel
excludes these things, even for those whose priority is the kingdom
And has it not 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? Should ministers
be making requests for rich people to contribute to the proclaiming of the
gospel of Jesus?
Let's look at some of the people who supported Jesus as He proclaimed the
Luk 8:2-3 And the twelve were with him, (2) and also some women who had
been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from
whom seven demons had gone out, (3) and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s
household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out
of their means.’
I want you to notice, "Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's housold manager",
was only one of the women, and presumably men also, who supported Jesus'
ministry out of their means!
The life and times of Jesus' day being what they were, it is very unlikely
that Joanna had a huge income independent of her husband from which she
could suport Jesus without her husband's knowledge.
The passage also tells us that she was one for whom Jesus had performed a
great health miracle. This would not have gone un-noticed by her husband
who must therefore have acquiesed to her support of Jesus even though he
was high up in Herod's court.
So we see that rich people were financially supporting Jesus in His earthly
ministry from their means. It's not unreasonable then that His ministry
would need a full time treasurer and that would explain why Judas was appointed.
So if Jesus and God the Father can use the support of wealthy people
to advance the preaching of the Gospel in Jesus' day, then surely there
is nothing wrong with His ministers today getting similar support for
preaching the good news and doing the ministry to which they have been
As an example, have you ever heard one of those stories where a man of God
is doing vital work like running an orphanage, but cannot provide the food
and clothing from regular income? You know the one, where the man of God gets
everyone around the table and gives God thanks for the meal even though there
is nothing to put out in the plates? Then, just as he finishes praying there
is a knock on the door and a stranger brings them food because he had a word
from God that it was needed?
Now when you have been told one of those true stories of God's provision,
which man of God would you have preferred to be? The one needing the food, or
the one who had taken advantage of God's blessings and so God could use him
to help his needy brother?
Both godly men are required to keep the orphanage running until the man
running the orphanage learns to walk in the blessing of God, or the orphanage
is no longer required! Then God can use the rich man to help someone else!
Jesus needed similar provision for a section of His ministry and then the job
was completed. The principles God uses have not changed!
Now, just because some people misuse or abuse the principles God gives to us,
does not mean that the principles are wrong! You should still do the things
that God says bring His blessings, and expect the results God says we should
Mark 10:29-30 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left
house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my
sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time,
houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with
persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
If you're going to believe the things God says in His word, why only believe
the 'judgements against sin', 'wrath', 'persecutions' and other such stuff?
Why not believe the good stuff, like in Mark 10:29-30, also? Shouldn't we have
faith in God in all things? Shouldn't we be believers who fully believe? That
would surely please our good God; if we actually believe He's as good as His
And what does God want of us as Christians. What does He give us wealth for?
Like the rich man in the story above, God wants us to be a blessing to others.
He wants us to be a blessing to His outreach programs in the world and to be
a blessing to our families! As an example, from His word this time, of what God
blesses His people for, we can read Proverbs 13, verse 22...
Prov 13:22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children,
but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous.
I trust that you realize that all the gold and silver belongs to the Lord?
But, God doesn't need them for Himself! For which people do you think that He
put them here? Satan's or God's?
The way they speak, I would not be surprised to find that most believers
belong to a church with pastors who teach them that it's their lot to just
get by, at best!
On the other hand, God has planned that His people have wealth to provide an
inheritance clear through to their grandchildren! Many have physical children
and grandchildren, and some have spiritual children and grandchildren. Are you
interested in taking part in God's plan and leaving them an inheritance? Do
you have a heart (and faith) to do God's will as He reveals it?
Psa 37:3-5 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
Don't limit God - Do it!
Best wishes for Grace and The Peace of Jesus.
If Jesus was rich -