Was Jesus Rich?

This is a piece I recently wrote for our country's internet ministry, Bogati.net

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Luke 9:58

Looking back in history, there is no figure as important as Jesus of Nazareth. HG Wells, the great English author, said that Jesus Christ is “easily the most dominant figure in all history.”

And yet, the central figure of all history said that he “has no place to lay his head.” What did he mean? If indeed he came from God to save the world, why would he talk about himself as being poor?

To understand why Jesus said he was poor, we must go back to the beginning.

In the beginning, all creation existed at peace, as God had intended. Mankind enjoyed an unhindered relationship with God. However, people disobeyed God, and God’s relationship with mankind was broken. The richness of life that mankind enjoyed — the peace and harmony they experienced with all things — all of it was broken.

Disappointed, God explained the consequences of mankind’s sin in Genesis 3:

“…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread,

till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken;

for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Mankind fell from the riches of God’s favor, to the poverty of God’s curse.

God pronounced sin’s punishment: destruction. The harmony and peace that God had created was now cracked, doomed to die, because of sin. And unless someone else paid the great debt that mankind had incurred, all of humanity would perish.

And so, God chose to take the punishment on himself. He would become a man and suffer the punishment that all mankind deserved, in order to save those who would give their lives to him.

To remove the curse from mankind, Jesus took the curse on himself.

As he took on the form of a human, he gave up his riches — his power and ability — in order to live on earth. And he didn’t just come to earth and experience a clean, sterile punishment. He became like a poor beggar — without even a place to lay his head.

To redeem the undesirable, tainted hearts of sinful people, Jesus himself became undesirable. As a poor preacher he proclaimed the message of God, and as a falsely convicted criminal he took the wrath of God, so that we who were undesirable might become the treasure of God, as we had been created to be.

The Bible says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” What will you say?

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