Recently I was watching a old sermon by a preacher who is teaching the prosperity doctrine to his congregation, In that sermon he seems to be poking fun at the general beliefs that most Christian have.

Usually I would have chosen to remain silent  But I believe that he had in one way misrepresented Jesus in his sermon and I felt it necessary to help put everything back into perspective from the bible. 

As I was watching the video recording of his infamous sermon, here are my thoughts about what he had spoken.

My Initial Thoughts  : The Cost Of Running The Ministry

One of his main strongest argument was the fact that Jesus ran a ministry that involves many people and logistics. This serves as the basis for his argument that Jesus had more than enough to run his ministry as well as to give to the poor. 

Personally, I am sure that as Jesus was ministering on earth, God provided him with the necessary finance to run his ministry. From the bible,we can conclude that Jesus did not spend his finance in a hap hazard manner, he make use of things that are available to him all the time.

For example

1 Jesus borrowed Simon Peter’s Boat to speak a sermon (Lk 5:1-3)
2 He entered a house in Capernaum to heal people (Mk 2:1-2)
3 Jesus borrowed the house of Peter for his healing ministry (Mk 1:29-33)
4 He borrowed the donkey for the triumphal entry. (Matt 21:1-3)
5 He borrowed the upper room for Passover, which is the location of the church (Mk 14:12-15, Acts 1:13-14, Acts 2:1-2)
6 He often used free or public venues for his sermons.  for example Hills (Matt 5:1, Matt 15:29 ) , Galilee Seaside (Lk 5:1-3)  and Synagogues (Matt 4:23)

While I believe that Jesus would probably need a substantial amount to feed his travelling band of disciples, especially for a period of 3 years. I seriously doubt that they had so much money that they need to carry a huge treasure chest of money with them.

While painting a poor , hungry Jesus is an incorrect depiction of Christ.  Painting a picture of Jesus swimming in pools of gold coin like Scrooge McDuck is probably an equally inaccurate depiction of our Lord.

Instead of a super rich big boss Jesus , I would picture Jesus as a frugal man, who is able to  run a ministry using whatever resources he could lay his hands on. His method of preaching the word of God differs from how we run ministries in our present day.

Jesus relies not on the state of the art sound system, flashy concert lights,  rock bands and hip-hop dancers to teach the word of God,  he makes use of his surroundings for parables. He often preach in public areas like the Synagogue and in open areas like hills, seaside instead of renting expensive concert halls and auditorium as event venues.  

I would picture him crossing Galilee on boats borrowed from fishermen and he will heal the sick  working from the houses of people who offered hospitality to him. 

He will make use of whatever offerings he receive to help the poor, as well as to use them to daily necessities such as food for his band of disciples who mostly travelled with him on foot.

I do not picture Jesus as a poor, miserable and hungry teacher, but I certainly do not picture him as a rich rabbi filled with luxuries that he does not need. (IE: The chief priest of the temple)

My Initial Thoughts On Judas The “Finance Minister”

For Judas (AKA “Finance Minister”) sold Jesus for merely a 30 pieces of silver. Which is a very very small amount. it is roughly a four month salary of an average worker.About 1/3 of the cost of spikenard offered by Mary.

Interestingly, Judas was also interested in the spikenard offered by Mary and he was hoping that it could be sold for 300 denarii and distributed to the poor. If Jesus was indeed that rich as they say, then I guess 300 denarii would have been insignificant to the huge treasury carried by the disciples.

I try to  search for the value of 30 pieces of sliver and the price ranges from  $950  (base on modern value of silver ) to $240 000 (Base on the fact that 30 pieces of silver was good enough to buy a potters field (Matt 27:6-10) )

There is author who complied his findings, and among his compilation was a price list of everyday necessities base on archeological findings of Pompeii and Rome

We cannot be 100% sure how rich this finance minister really is. But there is one question did bug my mind constantly as I was thinking about how rich Jesus was.

Why would the super rich Jesus make Simon Peter catch a fish and use the money found inside the fish to pay temple tax? (Matt 17:24-27)

Other notes

As I was watching the preacher’s sermon, I cant help but notice the various versions of the English Bible being quoted, and he even gave a flashy nickname for the NIV version calling it the “Never Incorrect Version”

But based on the teachings  draw by him through his reading of these modern version. I can see how modern translation of the bible sacrifice accuracy for readability.  That could potentially leads to misconceptions about Jesus and his ministry.

I know that  my articles will not convince people who staunchly hold on to the prosperity gospel to reconsider their beliefs. But I hope that it could at least provide a alternative perspective to curious people so that they could draw conclusion on their own.

In the next few entries, lets explore the points made by the teacher base on the 9 points shared by the pastor.

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