Somebody pointed out one time that Jesus says four times as much about money as he does about prayer. I haven’t gone through the Gospels and made my own survey, but I’m guessing that ratio is pretty close.
Think about it: We are told that the Prince of Peace was born in a stable, not in a fancy hotel. In attendance were “certain poor shepherds,” as “The First Nowell” has it, probably paraphrasing Luke’s account. Near the end of his life, we’re told that Jesus overturned the tables of the money-changers in the temple. In the middle of his preaching life (Beatitudes, Matthew 5), he told his listeners: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” And there are some commentators who have said that one way of translating that passage is, “Blessed are you poor.”
The Apostle Paul, in one of his letters, says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Now I’m not saying that God wants you to live under a bridge somewhere and beg for alms. Fair pay for a job well done and a job well liked is one of God’s greatest blessings. However, be careful. There are those who preach what is called a “Prosperity Gospel.” They say, in essence, that God wants you to be rich. I don’t believe that at all; God wants you to be faithful. If you have been fortunate and have made more than you need, great, but be sure to share it with those who are not as fortunate.
And remember the words of Jesus about how it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Finally, the man the church calls the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, died with the clothes on his back, and whatever was left was gambled for beneath the cross by his executioners.
So, those of you who would follow Jesus, did he die rich or did he die poor?
You know the answer!