Myths about Jesus in the Gospels? A Rich Jesus vs. a Poor Jesus?
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 1 in a series of advanced Bible lessons on “Myths taught about Jesus” in the modern church. There are a number of things taught from the Bible that are clearly fabricated by the devil to discredit the identity and character of the real Jesus of the Bible. By portraying a fictional Jesus, Satan can keep the church from seeing, seeking and following the examples of the true Jesus. For example, it is widely preached and taught in many churches that Jesus was a very, very poor man and did not own anything of value. However, is this really what the Bible teaches us or is this just what Satan wants you to think so that he can keep you poor in the world today? What advantage does Satan gain by portraying a poor Jesus to the church? I believe that as long as Christians think Jesus was poor they will follow in his example to remain the same. Poor Christians are ineffective and unable to be a blessing to others and therefore very harmless to Satan or even to help the lost unsaved people under his control. Satan desires every Christian to take a vow of poverty to go and live in common dwelling community with others in the same way. In doing this they are unable to feed the poor or help preach the Gospel to the world on the outside. Poor nations are the same type of pattern in this world as poor Christians. This is very evident in the displayed wealth distribution of the nations as studied on the internet. Only the richer strong nations can be a factor to effect any positive change to any other nation that needs help. The poorest nations are the ones that are found the homeless, starving people that are begging for the other nations to come and help them. This is why Satan causes many churches to promote a false Mother Theresa type of sainthood thinking it to be the perfect model type of a real Christian. There are just too many churches that promote a vow of poverty philosophy and somehow believe that this self-imposed vow of suffering makes their people more pious or worthy of being saved. However, I’ve got bad news for you, if Mother Theresa would have had 5 billion dollars to help poor people she would have been much more effective and reached so many that she was never able to reach. Bill Gates helps more poor people than Mother Theresa will ever dream of. There is just no substitute for having money in this world to help and bless other people. Of course money without knowing God is completely worthless. I am not a prosperity preacher or teacher. I hardly mention money on my website and I never ask you to send me anything. Therefore, do not put me into a category of any other stereotyped Bible teacher. I simply like to look for what the Bible says and then teach that regardless of the message. If the Bible said that Jesus was poor then that is exactly what this lesson would be about. How about we just find out what God says in His Word and believe that. Can we just do that?
If you do not have any money or do not work to earn any money then you are living in poverty and usually called a beggar that is seeking and asking churches, charities, relatives, other people or the government for a free helping handout just to eat and to survive. Is that what Jesus did? Can you search the gospels and ever find Jesus begging from anyone? I mean try to find it and then tell me where it is. There are at the minimum two different ways to learn from the Bible. You can learn from what the Bible directly says or you can learn from what it does not directly say. If the Bible does not teach us that Jesus begged then why would you think that you should beg? This type of baseless poverty Jesus teaching would be very much like teaching since the Bible never teaches us that Jesus went to the bathroom, we must all not go to the bathroom and hold it to be like Him. No this is the challenge of resolving our ignorance to allow us to become realistic in our beliefs to see what the Bible actually says about how Jesus never begged for anything and then find out how that applies to us. So I want to take you through some scriptures in the Bible and show you some new perspectives on some things that should hopefully permit you to find and see the real Jesus of the Bible. You will soon find that this real Bible Jesus was not a poor man who owned nothing. Please let me show you in the Bible:
Mat 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: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
There are many verses in the Bible that I could start with, but I’ll start with this one in Matthew about the men from the east coming to visit baby Jesus after He was born. If you read you will find that these men traveled a great distance because they had seen His star in the east and they followed it to where Jesus was. Most Christma manger scenes have Jesus being born in a stable in Bethlehem with the animals that were present and they have the wise men coming to the manger with their gifts. However, did you notice in this verse in Matthew 2:11 that these men came to see Jesus in a house? There was no manger in this verse or the context. Apparently from this information we can see that Jesus at the very least was a child who lived in a house with his mother and father. So far this is not a homeless and destitute poor Jesus that we have been taught, is it? Next did you notice what these men brought to Jesus? It says they brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. That does not sound like a poor Jesus either? So if men traveled a great distance to see a newborn king, would they have brought small insignificant trivial gifts or large extravagant gifts fit for a living king? What would impress the family? If you do not believe me try taking a wrothless gift to the queen of England and see how it is received. You are foolish not to believe a gift for a king has to be great. Therefore, I do not think that Jesus was either homeless or poor as a child growing up; I hope you can see what the Bible says also.
Let’s shift gears to the older Jesus and see what the Bible says about the men that Jesus chose to hang around with. One of the key men that Jesus personally selected was a man called Peter. Peter was a key figure and we can learn a lot about him in the Bible. Peter was married, a fisherman with his brother and he lived in and owned a house:
Mat 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
So reading about Peter in the Bible we can clearly see that Peter was a businessman who made a living and had a job and thus was not homeless or a man of poverty. Jesus came into Peter’s house and healed his mother-in-law. So the house was large enough to accomodate more than just his wife. Jesus did not pick men who were homeless and poor to associate with, so why do people think Jesus was homeless and poor? Somehow it makes people feel good on the inside to think that Jesus had nothing, owned nothing to depended upon others for everything that He needed. This is exactly how Satan wants you to envision your Jesus so that you will never rise above the level of His poor example.
So do you think that Jesus ever owned a physical house and dwelling place? Some place where He lived for three years? An actual building called a home built with walls, windows, doors and a roof, in some city? If not then where would our Jesus live, sleep, eat or rest? Does He just sleep outdoors on the ground? Does He beg to sleep in other people’s houses? Maybe He just slept in someone’s barn. I do not know why people like to think that Jesus went from place to place sleeping under the stars for at least three years? Remeber that the ministry duration of Jesus was somewhere near three years of time. I cannot only assume that people read the Bible with dark goggles on so they do not have to see what is actually written there. They have created a Jesus in their minds and are quite content with keeping Jesus in their cramped little box of limitations. You would truly be amazed at what the Bible actually says if you would open your eyes and see it! Let me give you a verse found in Matthew to start with:
Mat 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
What does it mean if Jesus crosses over in a boat in order to get to His “own city”? It sounds like that was Jesus’ hometown, doesn’t it? The term “own” is a possessive pronoun and this town was the town that Jesus lived in and possibly even owned a home in. If I called you on the phone and you were my friend and I said “I’m back in town”, you know from that statement that I was gone from town but that I have now returned back home. So did you know that Jesus had his own city to return to? Well I’m about to show you some additional verses that will help us confirm this reality:
Mar 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
Capernaum was a seaside city on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, thus Jesus entered back into the city by boat as we just read about in Matthew. This verse in the book of Mark says there went out rumors spreading everywhere that Jesus was in the house. Uh oh? Further, notice that these rumors took several days to be spread, so Jesus has been in this house for at least that length of time. Whose house was this? Who did this house belong? That sounds pretty bad for the poor homeless Jesus proponents and teachers. If you knew I was gone out of town and drove by my house, could you tell when I got back home? More than likely you could! However, in Jesus’ day you could not just drive into town incognito unless you walked in, in the middle of the night when everyone else was asleep. So according to this verse Jesus comes to Capernaum in a boat and people see Him arrive and start spreading the word to all of their friends that “Jesus is home”. To be “In the house” you have to logically conclude that this was Jesus’ house that they are talking about, otherwise which house in a city of hundreds or even thousands of houses are they speaking of? You just cannot say that Jesus is in the house if you do not already know which one it is! So far this is just very basic simiple logic reached by observing what is stated in the Bible, it is not that difficult, but admittedly it can be easily explained away for those who refuse to see it.
Mar 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
So technically speaking it does not say this house belongs to Jesus, but then again it does not say that it doesn’t either. If you read the context there is no mention of any owner and I believe that is very important to note. So we have to use our brains in order to figure out the truth. Jesus is in a house and a large number of people hear that Jesus is present to be found there and they just happened to show up automatically at just the right house. How do all of these people know which house if this is not Jesus’ house? Uh oh? Here we have another problem for those who want to believe in a poor homeless Jesus. No this verse says so many people showed up, that they could get anyone else in the house, so they had to stand outside the door to hear His words. Then there comes 4 more men carrying a lame friend to get Jesus to heal him. How did these 5 men know what house to come to and why were they there? When they arrived at the house they could easily look at the house and all of the people knowing, yes Jesus is in the house. I conclude formthis that they knew He was home again because we can soon see that they were going to do whatever it took to get their friend healed.
Mar 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
You see here is the major problem that I have discovered about this story in the Bible. If this was my house that I owned and Jesus was just visiting with me for a few days and four idiots come tearing a huge hole in my roof what would you have done to stop them from tearing up your house? Do you know there is no mention that anyone was upset that 4 guys just tore a big hole in the roof to lower their buddy down in? I find that omission totally fascinating to say the least. To me the lack of anyone complaining just confirms that Jesus the healer was in His own house and He did not mind when He saw these men’s faith to get their friend healed. That is the only logical explanation of how everybody knew where Jesus was and why no one cared when the house was broken into and modified with a huge new sky light large enough to lower a crippled man. Let’s read down now in the same chapter and see what else Jesus does in his home city.
Mar 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
Jesus is said to be walking in His city again and finds a man named Levi and tells Levi to “follow me”. Right there let’s analyze that statement; if Jesus wanted to go to Levi’s house would Jesus have said “follow me”? To me Jesus would have said “let’s go to your house and I’ll follow you”. Things in the Bible need to make sense when we read them. The verses present us with limited factual information and we are required to read the facts and use the information to make a determination of what is stated. L’et’s read the following verse and see what is said next:
Mar 2:15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
Hopefully you can see my problem? Whose house is Jesus now eating in? Did Jesus lead Levi to Levi’s house expecting Levi to feed everyone? Or did Jesus take Levi to Jesus’ house and there they all sat and ate together. The phrase “his house” is one that must be directed at Jesus and not at Levi since Levi is never mentioned in this verse. But, you see we could easily take this verses either way and almost be right. However, only one way is right and the other was must be wrong. Two truths can never exist from one statement. Did you notice how many people were present? Did you notice all of the disciples and Jesus were present and we know Levi was also there if he followed Jesus and now we can read that publicans and sinners were also there. That really sounds like a big group and not a small house at all.
Mar 2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
So poor Jesus proponents and teachers have more problems to try to explain away. I’ll start by asking you how did the Scribes and the Pharisees know where Jesus was eating? Are they following Jesus around? From my current understanding of Bible history the city of Capernaum was not a tiny 4 or 5 house community. It must have had a significant population with many families and houses in it. We can clearly see from this information that Jesus was eating in a house with a lot of people being present and while others simultaneously watching him and knowing where He was located. From what I have just read, I am convinced that Jesus was a man who owned a house in the city of Capernaum and that many people knew Him and exactly where He lived. This is really the only explanation that makes sense of how people kept finding Jesus in a big city. You of course have the option to remain ignorant and believe whatever you like.
Mar 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
If you read the Bible like you want to believe that Jesus was homeless you have to ignore a lot of the Bible to establish that belief. In this verse Jesus is speaking and He says some very profound words. Jesus was the Prophet that He is talking about in this verse. Did you know that Jesus was a prophet? The prophet’s office was just one position that He held, but nevertheless that is one title that He called Himself. This Prophet was said to have no honor among the people who knew Him personally. These people were His neighbors and relatives who knew Him and knew where He lived. These were the people who recognized Him when He walks down the street. These were the people who can see when He enters into the house where He lives and they knew exactly which house it was. These were the people who look at Jesus as being a regular human like them. Because the do not know Him as the Son of God, they hold no place of honor for Him in their heart because He appears to be exactly as they were in every way. To be exactly like them meant that He works, He eats, He sleeps, He goes to the bathroom and He lives in a house just like they did. Do you understand these basic things? They do not see Jesus with a halo around His head and they do not see Jesus walking above the ground where He does not leave any footprints. Jesus was not surrounded with angels. His faced did not glow. Jesus looked normal, acted normal and lived normally. Jesus was a man in complete normalcy like everyone else in appearance. Furthermore Jesus himself just spoke some words and said that He owned a house. Did you notice that? The Greek word G3614 translated as “house” literally means a residence. The inclusion of a personal pronoun of “own” before the noun house (residence) conveys ownership responsibility and is directly associated to the speaker of the words and that was clearly Jesus.
Mat 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
Here is another very interesting verse that I found about Jesus. Jesus is in a house talking with some people and suddenly His mother and His half-brothers suddenly appear asking to talk to Him standing outside of the house. If this is not Jesus’ house where He lived, how do these close relatives know where to find Him? You can clearly see the difficulty that I have with people’s interpretation that says Jesus did not own a house. If His mothers and His brothers could come to exactly where He was and request a meeting, they had to know where to go. Jesus instead of going to speak to his natural family looked around the room and said those that do the will of my Father, you are my mother, my sister and and brother and then a couple of verses later you will read this:
Mat 13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
Again, we have to conclude that Jesus owned this house that He keeps being associated with near the sea. If Jesus is seen exiting a house and sitting by the sea, we know this is Jesus’ house in Capernaum that He is seen leaving from. There are certainly many more verses like these that I could go through to show you that Jesus did own a house, but I will leave it at that. It really doesn’t matter if you show people two verses or forty verses, if they do not want to see the truth, they will always ignore whatever you give them. Let’s change the subjecvt from houses to moeny and see another perspective of Jesus.
I want you to think about this, did Jesus ever have any money? We know there was one case in the Bible that says when Jesus was forced to pay taxes that He told Peter to go to the sea and catch a fish and use that money in the fish’s mouth to pay the tax. So stories like that are used by people to promote a poor Jesus who did not carry money around with Him. But, did you know that the disciple Judas was said to be the treasurer for Jesus and the other disciples (John 13:29)? Do you need a treasurer if you have no money? In fact if you search and can read the Bible, you will find out that Judas was a thief and he was able to steal money from Jesus and the disciples without anyone else knowing it (John 12:6). Did you know if Jesus only had a little bit of money and Judas took a little bit of it out, it wouldn’t be easily missed? But, if Jesus had a whole bunch of money in the bag and Judas slowly took out a little here and a little bit there, it would never be missed by anyone? So to me using this story of Judas alone we discover that Jesus did carry large sums of money so a little bit is never missed. Let me show you another story in the Bible about this large sum of money that Jesus and the disciples carried around with them:
Mar 6:36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
We have an interesting story of many people following Jesus in the wilderness. In the Bible verse before this one it says that it is very late in the day and the disciples come to Jesus and ask Him to send the people away so that they can still make it home to get something to eat. However, Jesus had a different lesson to teach them and said this:
Mar 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
Jesus tells the disciples to get all of the people something to eat and since there were thousands of them, the disciples ask Him a very strange question for poor homelss men. If these disciples did not have in their possession 200 pennies to buy this bread they would have said let’s go take up a collection so that we can go buy them some bread. But, they did not say that did they? They asked Jesus, do you want us to go and spend 200 pennies to buy all of these people bread to eat? The Bible tells us that there were approximately 5000 men in this group and we know these men had wives and children so there could have been 15000 people there around Jesus. Let me ask you this question, what would it cost you if you took 15000 people to McDonald’s and bought them all a burger? It would take a whole bunch of money to feed that many people. So why would the poor disciples ask Jesus if He wanted them to go and buy food for all of them, if they did not already have the money to do it? You see that would really be a stupid question to ask wouldn’t it. The disciples were not stupid and they were not poor either so get over it and see what the Bible says about money. The disciples had enough money on them to feed everyone, but still there were no bread stores in the wilderness to buy this food, so Jesus goes with His original plan of multiplying the loaves and fishes of a boy’s lunch. The discipiles could have solved the problem in a natural way, but Jesus was teaching them a supernatural method of supply.
I’ll end today’s leson with one more example of how Jesus was not a poor man. When Jesus was crucified it tells us that there were some soldiers who divided up what Jesus was wearing. Since Jesus was hanging on the cross naked about to die, He would have no further need of any of the items and the guards saw a great opportunity to profit:
Joh 19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
Jesus was wearing a seamless coat that was woven in one piece from top to bottom it says. You probably do not understand the significance to that statement. It means His coat was very valuable. This was the coat of a wealthy man, a king or someone of great status in the city or country. Not everyone possessed a coat such as this, because it took a lot of money to buy one. Evidently if Jesus was poor where did He obtain such a piece of clothing? Someone tried to tell me that this valuable robe was the garment placced upon him by Pilate, but if you go read closely that robe was not a gift but a temporary robe placed to mock Him (Mat 27:31). This royal mocking robe was removed after the mocking and it did not go to the cross. Thefore, the coat that the soldiers were gambling over had to have been owned by Jesus.
Joh 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
You see the soldiers recognized the value of the coat and said let’s not tear it up! Let us gamble for it so that one of us can use it like it is. For the soldiers to gamble for something that is worthless would be illogical or foolish; so they had to know that the coat was a very valuable item and something that they could not afford even with their salaries from the Roman Empire. This information about Jesus does not go along with the Mother Theresa type of poor Jesus that many people want to follow. There are many other Bible verses that I failed to mention, but I gave you enough references to get you to think and hopefully change your poverty mentality away from the poor Jesus to change it to the real Jesus. You see I do not believe that Jesus was Bill Gates or Warren Buffet while on the earth. However, I also do not believe that Jesus went about as a homeless man in absolute poverty either. You can see too many examples of Jesus beginning with His birth all the way to His death and never is it said that He was poor. Jesus is portrayed in the Bible as being more in the range of an upper middle class man and never a poor homeless man in the Bible. I hope that you can see it with your own eyes and definitely spend more time reading the Gospels for the real Jesus. Thanks for taking the time to read and study the Bible and if you have any questions or comments you are welcome to share them. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series about Myths of Jesus taught in the Church you may continue to “Part 2“.