Jesus and Money Ė Did Jesus give us any financial guidance?
Although the New Testament does tell us about Jesus and money, it does not reveal whether or not He carried any Himself. We are told that Judas carried the moneybag for the group of disciples ( John 12:5). So Jesus delegated that responsibility to others in the band that traveled with Him, and they bought the bread that was needed for themselves and Jesus.
However, Jesus recognized the importance of money and the proper use of it, and He spoke of that principle many times. When the rich young ruler came to Jesus asking what he could do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell all he had, and the young man went away sorrowing (Luke 18:18-23). Jesus used this incident to state, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, 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." Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."(Luke 18:24-27, NIV). It is possible with God for we know that a rich man named Joseph of Arimathea gave his tomb for Jesus to be laid in (Matthew 27:57).
The position of Jesus and money in regards to taxes and giving to God is also made clear through Jesus' teaching. When the Pharisees tried to tempt Jesus to speak out against Rome, Jesus gave them a principle that holds true today when he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" (Matthew 22:21, NIV). In other words, be subject to the powers over you (Romans 13:1-7) and pay taxes or tribute, as it is required. At another time, God supplied the money for Jesus' tribute or tax through the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:24-27).
Jesus also gave a parable about the correct stewardship of money in Matthew 25:14-30. Two of the servants who received their masterís talents were wise stewards, gaining more from what they had been given, and were thus rewarded. The one foolish servant who misused the masterís talents, lost that talent and his reward. The principle is that all that we have belongs to the LORD and how we use it, as wise and good stewards will determine rewards. These "talents" are inclusive of all of the details of our lives: time, money, relationships, and gifts. All we have is by the grace of God and being a wise servant who does all to the glory of God is our "reasonable service" (Romans 12:1, KJV).
Jesus' teaching on the details of life, which includes money, was that God would provide for all of the believer's needs. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33, NIV). This truth is certainly illustrated by the widow's two mites (Mark 12:42). Whereas she gave to God all that she had, there were some rich who cast into the temple treasury from their abundance just for the show of it. The lesson that Jesus gave in all this was that the widow gave more than all of the others. The implication here is that she gave her all to God and trusted Him to supply her need.
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