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Wednesday, April 11 2018

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

Introduction:

As much as the Lord desires for all of us to prosper here on earth; there are many who teach that Christians should not live in prosperity. One of the arguments used by those who oppose the idea of material prosperity for Christians is that Jesus was poor during the time He lived on earth. They say He lived an impoverished life from the time He was born in a stable and laid in a manger bed, throughout His ministry when He had no home, until He was crucified and buried in a borrowed tomb.

The idea of Jesus' poverty has been repeated so often and passed down for so long that most people never stop to question it and see if it is scripturally valid or not. In fact, this commonly accepted teaching is totally contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture.

First, let’s look at the terms used to define the word “poor”

"destitute, inferior, indigent, needy, impoverished, feeble, pitiful, lacking, insufficient".

Will any of these be a true description of the way Jesus lived? Definitely not!

Yes, on the night Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had to take shelter in a stable. They wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. But the Bible does not say they were in the stable because they didn't have enough money to rent a room. That Jesus was therefore born in a manger due to the overcrowding in Bethlehem was certainly no indication of poverty.

Next, we will answer two important questions based on the two primary scriptures used to erroneously substantiate the idea that Jesus was poor.

 

Question 1: When Did Jesus Become Poor?

2 Corinthians 8:9: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

This passage undeniably declares that Jesus became poor and experienced poverty.

But when? Was it during His entire earthly life? During His years of ministry? Exactly when did Jesus become poor?

Jesus was not a poor man during the thirty-three years of His earthly life, including the three years of His earthly ministry. He was made poor upon the Cross when He became our Substitute and paid the penalty and price for our sin.

Isaiah 53, the great substitutionary chapter of the Bible, speaks of how Jesus bore our sins. He took upon Himself what belonged to us so that we could receive what belongs to Him.

“Surely he hath borne our GRIEFS [the word translated “griefs" is the Hebrew word "choli," which means diseases], and carried our SORROWS [this is the Hebrew word "makob," which means pains]: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the CHASTISEMENT OF OUR PEACE was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . .. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief [The Amplified Bible says, "He has put Him to grief and made Him sick"]: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:4-6,10

 

The word translated "peace" in verse 5 is the Hebrew word “shalom," which has the following meanings and connotations: safe, well, happy, welfare, health, prosperity, and rest. In other words, this passage tells us that God allowed Jesus to bear our sins and sicknesses so that by His stripes, we could have healing, peace, safety, wellness, happiness, rest, and prosperity.

There are other important "substitutionary" verses to consider.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be SIN for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in him.

Galatians 3:13,14 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made A CURSE for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: that THE BLESSING of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

At Calvary, Christ took on sickness to provide us health. He was made sin so we could be made the righteousness of God. He was made a curse so we could receive the blessing.

Let's look again at Second Corinthians 8:9. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became POOR, that ye through his POVERTY might be RICH."

We see that by His sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus took our poverty to provide us the riches of His grace. He became poor that we might be rich, which means abundant provision!

When did Jesus take on sin, sickness, the curse, and poverty? On the Cross! He did this so we could receive health, righteousness, blessing, and prosperity. He took the punishment that belonged to us so that we could receive the blessings that belong to Him.

 

Question 2: Was Jesus Homeless?

Luke 9:58: “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”

This verse is often interpreted to mean that Jesus lived such an impoverished life that He never owned a home or had a place to stay after He began His earthly ministry. But contrary to traditional thinking, Jesus did have a place of residence. The passage most often cited by people in an attempt to prove that Jesus never owned a home or had a residence is found in Luke chapter 9.

Let's read all the related verses in context.

Luke 9:51-58:

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village. As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

 

Reading in context, we learn that in verse 58 Jesus was simply saying, "At this time in My life, I am on the move. I’m going forward on My way to fulfil My mission. I'm not settling down on this earth, but I'm on My way to be taken up to Heaven."

There are also other scriptures that seem to indicate that Jesus did have an earthly home or residence.

Matthew 4:12,13 (NIV) “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali.”

Mark 2:1 is also very interesting. It reads, "A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home" (NIV).

Jesus couldn't "come home" or be reported as being "at home" if He didn't have a home.

The argument that Jesus didn't have a home cannot be used as proof of the poverty of Jesus because Scripture indicates that Jesus did indeed have a home.

 

Conclusion

We can be certain that Jesus becoming poor for our sakes was only at the cross. Reading through the Gospels, we discover that Jesus was not portrayed as a poverty-stricken individual. He was also never sick but He took our sicknesses. He never sinned but took on our sins. He wasn’t poor but became poor so that we might become rich once we accept His gift of salvation. All these exchanges took place at the cross! This therefore concludes that prior to the cross, Jesus was rich!

 

This study was culled from “The Midas Touch” By Kenneth-E-Hagin

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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