One of the teachings popular today in certain segments of the Charismatic church related to prosperity is that Jesus Himself was a wealthy man. Anyone familiar with the Gospels may wonder where such a thought comes from. When one looks beyond the assertions of the teachers making these claims and thinks about the Scriptures we can see how foolish such a view is.
One view of where Jesus got His wealth comes from the visit of the Wise Men in Matthew 2 about two years after Jesus’s birth. One of their gifts was gold causing wealth proponents to insist that Jesus’s family was wealthy. A central problem with this assertion is that the Bible does not tell us how much gold they brought. Was it a hundred dollars worth? A thousand? Ten thousand? It is sheer speculation to try to place a dollar amount upon it. And yet even if we could there are numerous other problems with the allegation. Let’s consider some for a moment.
We should pause to ask why Jesus is known as the son of a carpenter. Does this mean Joseph continued to work after the family settled in Nazareth?
We must remember that Jesus is said to have brothers and sisters, siblings that Joseph fathered after Jesus’s birth. Jesus didn’t begin His ministry until he was thirty which means that in order to be
wealthy at that point in his life the Wise Men would have needed to bring enough gold to sustain a family of at least six for 3 decades!
The Bible says that immediately after the Wise Men left Joseph was warned to take Mary and the baby Jesus into Egypt until,…. This means travel and living expenses since he might not have been able to find work in a foreign country. Thus the gold is seen as provision for a journey and not a lifetime supply of ease.
There are many other contradictions to this claim as well that are best expressed in this list of questions.
- Why does Mary say in her song of praise that God has sent the rich away empty if she is going to be wealthy all her life?
- Jesus told a seeker that He had no place to lay his head. How can this be true if He was wealthy?
- Wouldn’t it be hypocritical for a wealthy Jesus to tell the Rich Young Ruler to give away all his wealth to the poor. Wouldn’t it be a contradiction for a wealthy Jesus to discuss how hard it is for Rich men to enter heaven?
- In 2ND Corinthians Paul says Jesus became poor when He came to earth. How can this be true if He in fact was wealthy?
- In Luke 22:36 Jesus says sell a garment to buy a sword. Why is this necessary if they are rich?
- Why does Jesus tell Peter to get money from a fishes mouth for the taxes if they are wealthy?
- Why does Judas complain about ointment being spilled instead of sold only to turn around and sell Jesus for a fraction of His supposed net worth?
This list can go on and on but hopefully it has accomplished its purpose. There is no Biblical basis whatever for the idea that Jesus was wealthy and therefore no basis for insisting that we should be as well. Sadly it is but one more example of the doctrinal drift coming from people who are the most animated in claiming to be speaking for God.
For more on the wealth transfer fallacy, see Pastor Shifflett’s book”Beware the Wolves.” The book is available in both paperback and e-book format at Amazon.com.