So far we have discussed the following

1. My preliminary response to the sermon by the Pastor
2. My thoughts on the Magi Gifts To Jesus
3. Millionaire Supporters Of The “Sophisticated Travelling Ministry”

Let us examine the next point from the Pastor

Pt 3 : Jesus provide for his entire ministry team, including their wives and children

He claims that his “sophisticated travelling ministry” includes his 12 disciples and the 70 disciples. They travel together with family (including the wives and children). His travelling group could amount more than 100 people.

In Lk 9:1-3 When Jesus sent out his 12 apostles he told them that he will provide for all their needs, and will take care of all of them.

In Lk 9:51-52, Jesus sends an “advance team” to prepare the lodging and food before he arrive.

In Lk 22:35 : He said that Jesus provided so well for the disciples that they do not lack anything when he sent them out in Lk 9:1-3

He concluded saying that if God gives a vision, he will provide the provisions. So he did not use donations cards, he had enough supplies to do anything

In fact in Jn 4:8, they have meat to eat for his disciples. and he goes around mocking the Christians who claimed that one must receive Jesus and give him food when he arrives. In fact Jesus will bring individuals out for a nice meal when he arrives.

For Jesus is very rich and he is able to supply everything needed to his disciples.

Rabbis At The time Of Jesus

I remember I was watching a documentary about the live and times of Jesus. In the bible, Jesus was addressed as Rabbi.

According To Wikipedia

A Rabbi is a title derives from the Hebrew word רבי rabi [ˈʁäbi], meaning "My Master" (irregular plural רבנים rabanim [ʁäbäˈnim]), which is the way a student would address a master of Torah. The word "master" רב rav [ˈʁäv] literally means "great one".

Disciples are often known as “Talmudim”, which is a very close follower of a rabbi. A talmudim would often walk behind Rabbis and follow them where ever they go.

They are suppose to attend to the master, and they would also do manual task like pouring water and washing the feet of the Rabbi (hence Jesus act of foot washing in Jn 13 is a directly contradictory to the culture of that time)

As the task a Talmudim did is somewhat similar to a servant, they are often dressed differently to differentiate between disciple and servant.

Travelling Families?

As far as the bible is concern, there was no records of the disciples bringing their family along with Jesus while they travelled. Although the bible did mention of the families of the apostles, he tells us that Jesus had brothers and Peter had a wife that believe in Jesus  (1 Cor 9:5)

The bible also records of Peter mother in law healed by Jesus (Matt 8:14, Mk 1:30 Lk 4:38)

As the bible had never records of the families of the disciples travelled with Jesus. Therefore to make a claimed  saying that Jesus have to provide for the families of the disciples would be a sweeping statement, it can never be proven.

Perhaps instead of picturing Jesus travelling with a huge company of men, woman and children , it would be more realistic to picture the “Sophisticated travelling ministry” to  the following

  1. 12 Disciples  (Lk 9:1) (AKA the twelve Apostles)
  2. 70 Disciples (Lk 10:1)
  3. The woman who ministered to the daily needs of Jesus (Clothing, food, etc) , they are ladies like  Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna (Lk 8:1) )

Due to the nature of work of the 70 disciples, it is highly possible that they are not always at the side of Jesus , they may be sent into various cities. The 12 disciples were more commonly seen to travel alongside Jesus.

Advance Party , Money Bags, Knapsacks and Sandals.

While I agree with the pastor that before Jesus enters a city, he would usually send 2 of the seventy disciples and after that the 12 disciples would be sent into the town or city. (Lk 10:1). But we need to take note that Jesus usually send them without money bags, Knapsacks and Scandals (Lk 10:4)

At this time we may wonder , what about Lk 9:51-52?

If we were to examine the verses carefully, you will notice that Jesus was entering a village of the Samaritans and we know as a historical fact that Samaritans and Jews are not in friendly terms. Therefore it would be difficult for Jesus and his disciples to receive the same hospitality as if it was a Jewish villages. This I believe is the likely reason why disciples were sent in to prepare lodging for Jesus.

While the pastor was reading Lk 22:35, he seem to be reluctant to read the following two verses which reads

“ Then He said to them, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 
For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS.’ For the things concerning Me have an end." Luke The Physician (Lk 22:36-37)

When the church is establish after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The work of spreading the gospel lies on the shoulders of the disciples. While they continue to lodge with believers,  it would be fair to say that they would still need to provide for themselves as they serve the Lord.

They may receive donations and help from members from churches around the area. We also read of preachers like Paul who work as tentmakers while preaching and ministering to the church  (Acts 18:3).

In the course of reading the new testament, in the Pauline Epistles we can see churches that provided for Paul as well as those who doesn’t.  (2 Cor 11:7-9)

Therefore the concept that “When God gives a vision, he will provide provision” is somewhat a far fetched concept as far as the early believers are concern. The prosperity teachers are free to brand me as “Faithless”.

Food For The Jesus And His Disciples

I found the part where he mocked traditional churches picture of a poor and hungry Jesus very amusing and disrespectful. While I do not picture Jesus as  poor, destitute, hungry and beggar, the idea of Jesus eating abalone, Caviar and Kobe Beef equally inaccurate in the light of the scripture.

The Pastor quoted Jn 4:8 claiming that Jesus ate meat all the time is pretty inaccurate.  For the word for Provision is τροφή (trophē) which can mean food or meat. They represent basic necessities and not luxuries.

Personally I believe that Jesus is more than capable to find proper food for him and his disciples, but by picturing Jesus as someone who spends extravagantly. Is that not a equally ridiculous depiction? 

I believe that when Traditional churches  asked the question “Will you invite Jesus into your house for a hot meal?” they have no intention to portray Jesus as thin, poor and destitute.

They all had this idea base on the fact that many people invited Jesus to their house for a meal. Jesus ate with people ranging from Rich Tax-collectors such as Zacchaeus (Lk 19) and commoners like Lazarus (Lk 10:38-40)  and Jesus even entered the house of Pharisee (Lk 7:36)

The act of receiving Jesus in the house is not a act of sympathy or compassion. But rather an act of love and hospitality for Jesus.

Conclusion

While it is fair to say Jesus is able to manage his own finances and to provide for the needs of the disciples travelling with him. Let us not go beyond the scriptures and use our imagination to create a inaccurate description of the ministry of Jesus, that borders to being incredible and unrealistic.

Having an incorrect understanding will lead to unrealistic expectation of God’s providence  and potentially stumble the faith of others. Especially to those who are currently encountering difficult trials from God.

Let us not by accidently stumble the faith of people that are undergoing trials. Let us paint a accurate picture of Jesus base on the truth written in the bible.

Advertisements