Prosperity's role in Jesus' life - and in ours

John Erickson
(some information from "public domain" sources)

Believers are too often frustrated from achieving success and prosperity because they believe Jesus lived in poverty. If we're going to experience the full manifestation of "salvation," we're going to have to dispel misinformed notions of "religion-ized" false-images of Jesus that contradict the victory he has enabled us to achieve. Let's examine His walk on the earth to get a better picture of how he lived.

You have a rich inheritance.

God's children always have, particularly going back to the inheritance rights of the Seed of Abraham, to which we are ingrafted by virtue of the Covenant of Jesus.

Some think of Jesus as a barefoot preacher who didn't have anything of His own. He didn't even have a house to live in, they believe, quoting Luke 9:58: "Foxes have holes, and birds or the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To what is this verse referring?

Jesus at that time had been scheduled to preach at Samaria. He'd sent disciples there to get things ready, but when he arrived, the Samarians did not receive him (Luke 9:53). So, when this eager young man came to Jesus and promised to go with him, Jesus let him know of the conditions of his way of life as a "traveling preacher," where inconvenience and hostility sometimes precluded some of the ordinary necessities of life. This condition was not a result of poverty, but from Jesus' taking a stand on what he believed and preached.

A House

Jesus did in fact have a house. In John 1:38-39, two disciples of John asked Jesus, "Where do you live?", whereupon Jesus replied, "Come and see." The verse continues, "They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour." Jesus' house-ownership is a matter of biblical record.

"Born in a stable." We already know that Jesus was born in a stable NOT because they could not afford a place in the inn, but that there was no room. I don't think we need to beat this dead horse any further.

Not A "Poor Child"

At the time of the Wise Men's visit to Jesus, it was some time after his birth. Here we see reference to the fact that Jesus and his family lived in suitable quarters. Matthew 2:11: "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him." Note that it did NOT say "they came into the stable..."

Then these Wise Men "opened their treasures". These men were kings, and when a king opens his treasure to you, you're not poor! It was customary for a king's gift to establish two things:

  1. What the king thought of the one he was providing the gift to;

  2. what the recipient of the gift would think of the king

A king's giving establishes the nature of his kingship and his domain. These wouldn't be mere tokens, but substantial gifts.

A Treasurer

During his ministry, Jesus found it necessary to have a treasurer manage the funds of his operation. Consider that this treasurer was a thief - and still there was enough money to keep things running.

Well Dressed

Clothes: John 19:22-23 says the soldiers who killed him cast lots for the "seamless garment" that Jesus wore. It was a high quality article of clothing, indicative of the prosperity of its wearer. Jesus didn't come into town as a rabble-rouser dressed in camouflage. He was a king and he dressed as a king.

Why do we need to know that? Because until we realize Jesus was prosperous, we'll feel a tinge of guilt as we pursue our own prosperity. God's blessings are thematic to the bible's message of deliverance. They're an identifying mark of God's provision for those who obey him and follow his decrees. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - we well know that they were prosperous because they were blessed by God. We need to realize Jesus likewise had been provided for during his time on earth.

•   •   •  

Financial gain is a great strain on the ego. The "natural" side of man relies on our innate survival instincts to manage the world before us. Those with no sensitivity of spirit are inclined to utilize wealth (or any other power within their possession) to gratify these urges until brute force compels them to cease. Thus "wealth" is generally perceived to be evil in itself. The bible dissects this a bit by clarifying that trusting in riches is temptation against which we are to stand guard (Proverbs 11:28 - He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. • Proverbs 1:32 - "the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. • 1 Timothy 6:10 - For the love of money is the root of all evil...). For the believer, wealth is a means for providing for the poor, bringing God's salvation and deliverance to others and avoiding destitution personally. To the sober of mind, God stands ready to provide for the well-being of those who love him.


Google: "Was Jesus Poor?