So far we have covered

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”
4. Jesus Providence To The Disciples

As the next two point was really short, I will put them all together. I find his Point 4 and 7 some what similar, so I decided to discuss them together.

Pt 4: Jesus generously fed the poor

Lk 9:11-13 : When quoting the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000, the pastor claims that the disciples of Jesus did not complain about money when they were asked to feed the congregation.  From there, he further expounded the scriptures, claiming that the disciples of Jesus carries boxes and boxes of money as they do not use visa or master card in the bible.

He claimed that the money boxes had enough money to feed at least 10-20 K people (base on a estimate that each man bought his wife and children along, 5000 men, + 5000 woman +10 000 kids)

Point 7: He regularly gave to the poor

After sharing Point 5 and 6, he went on to quote the passage of the last supper.  

Jn 13:27-29  : He explained that the disciples of Jesus misunderstood the instruction “What you do, do quickly.” as either “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or “give something to the poor”.

He went on to explain that the disciples must have seen Jesus doing this so often that they did not have a doubt that it was what Jesus instruction to Judas. He went on to explain that Jesus had surplus in his treasury even after paying for the ministry expenses, and in fact, he got so much surplus that he could regularly give to the poor.

Reconstruction of Of Judas Money Box

The feeding of 5000  is the only miracle that was recorded in all four books of the gospel

(Matt 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-16, Jn 6:1-14). In fact I wrote a small discussion on this miracles some time ago .

Before I proceed, I would like to clarify that I do not think it is really  possible to recreate the size and weight of Judas’s money box. As no one had saw it before. But because of the pastor’s claim that Jesus  had enough financial power to feed 20 thousand people, and that Jesus disciples brought with them huge treasury boxes  to store the coins.

I decided to try to make an educated guess on how much money was in the box basing it on the comments of the disciples. My guess is made base on the following verses .

“ But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii
worth of bread and give them something to eat?””-John Mark (Mark 6:37)

“Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is
not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.””-John (John 6:7)

The Estimate of 200 denarii is a good guess, because it was mentioned by the disciples,  if they were to have more money, why then did they keep mentioning 200 denarii?

base on the previous article quoted in part one, these is a typical pay rate in the capital city of Rome

Secretary =15 Denari/month
Lecturer =12 Denari/month
Messenger = 9 Denari/month
Fortune Teller = 10 Denari/month
Legionary = 20 Denari/month
Praetorian = 60 Denari/month

Therefore, 200 denarii in the money box of Jesus would have been a huge sum  of money considering they were in Judea and not in Rome.

That would also explain why Judas was indignant  when Mary broke a Alabaster Flask of Spikenard costing 300 Denarii to anoint the feet of Jesus.

Base on the Wikipedia entry of a denarii , a typical denarii in the time of Christ would have weight 3.5 Grams, base on one of it source article a typical denarii is about 18 mm in diameter. Some Google search result show that the denarius is about the size of a US Penny, which means its thickness is about 1.55 MM

Assuming Judas dutifully stack up 200 Denarii into 4 stacks of 50 Denarii  that would mean his money box will be approximately 3.6 x 3.6 x 7.5cm

We have compared the money box to match box to provide you with an idea of how it looks

Judas Money Box Vs a Matchbox

While some over-zealous Christians may accuse me of being faithless, but that is approximately the amount of space needed to keep 200 Denarii stacked nicely in a box. The weight of the box should be around 700 Grams.  Which would have been pretty heavy for a small box.

While we are at it, we have to remember that a typical worker earns approximately 300 denarii in a year, that will mean an average worker earns 25 Denarii a month, and Judas had about a salary of 8 men at his disposal. I felt that this is a fair estimate and that would have demystify the idea behind Jesus needing carrying box full of treasures.

However, let us remember that 200 denarii is only barely enough for each men to have a little. Which is not good enough to feed a person in that circumstances.

Just in case if people thinks that the 5 loaves and 2 fishes are of posh quality. John 6:9 tells us that they are Barley Loaves and 2 small fishes, just enough for a child to eat.

There are two types of flour used for bread making in the time of Jesus. They are wheat flour and barley flour.  In those days, wheat is more expensive and are used to bake bread for the rich while barely is a mainly used by the poor.  Therefore, let us not picture the bread given to the 5000 as “food for the rich and prosperous”

The Ministry To The Poor

One thing I did agree with the pastor was the fact that Jesus did provide for the poor. Although we may not have an idea how much money was given to the poor, or the statistic of people who received helped from Jesus.

I have 2 reasons to believe that Jesus did use money to help the poor.

The first reason is somewhat similar to what the pastor said

Judas mentioned about giving money to the poor when he criticized Mary for breaking the flask of spikenard Mk 14:5.

In Jn 13:27-29 the disciples did misunderstood Jesus command to Judas that it could be an order to give to the poor.

One of the stronger reason is behind the fact that when the church started, it does provide and feed widows and children living in the land of Israel (Acts 6:1-2)

There was also Christians such as Dorcas who took care of widows (Acts 9:36-41)

Paul did teach Timothy about how the church should handle widows (1Tim 5:3-16)

Elder James mentioned that a pure and undefiled religion before God involves visiting Orphans and widows in trouble (Jas 1:27)

The Apostles must have learnt that while watching Jesus help the poor and needy.

Conclusion

As I was researching through this topic, I can see the compassion of Jesus, how he saw the people coming to him and how he work tirelessly to teach them the truth about the kingdom of God.

Jesus had compassion for the people whom he teaches, in a separate miracle to feed 4000 people, Jesus said

“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”- Jesus (Matt 15:32)

Let us also have the same love and compassion just like Jesus.

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