Jesus: Did He Really Live on Personal Support?

By on August 1, 2007   /   Leave a comment

Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God . The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. (Luke 8: 1-3)

   This is unbelievable. It’s hard enough to imagine the Son of God, King of kings and Lord of lords, would lower Himself to leave the glories of heaven for 33 years to get His hands dirty among us mere mortals. But now, are we to understand that He then chose to totally rely on other earthlings for His very sustenance? You’ve got to be kidding!
   This money that Jesus and His men were receiving was not from the church budget, foundations, or even major donor “sugar daddies.” No, it was regular, ongoing support from individuals. Yes, He could have done it differently and outfitted His guys with moneychangers on each hip—cha-ching and out shoots the gold coins. That would have drawn a crowd! So, why would the omnipotent God (who could snap His finger and trillions would be at His feet) decide this method of funding would be the best?
1.  Jesus was into interdependence 
He wanted to initiate and experience a simultaneous dependence upon God and those around Him. He was launching the mysterious interconnected network called the “Body of Christ” where we are to look to both God and each other. He designed it—let’s enjoy it!
2.  Jesus was modeling to His men 
Everything He ever did was partly so we could learn how to do it ourselves. Just two chapters later (Luke 10:1-8) Jesus sends His men out in pairs to ask for support and do ministry. When they found a willing investor He charged them to: “Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.” (v.7). The Lord wanted them to ask individuals (even ones they didn’t know!) for support. He was onto something: even today, right at 75% of all the U.S. charitable giving is done by individuals. The rest is spread out between corporations, foundations, bequeaths, etc…
3.  Jesus loved to do things the “un-worldly” way
Whether it’s our salvation or ministry funding our first response is usually: we can earn it ourselves because then we will truly deserve it. In our Boot Camps we ask the 40+ participants how many have parents who were thrilled they were going into full time ministry and raising their support. Usually only 2-3 raise their hands. The rest of the parents are wondering why their kid doesn’t get a real job, work hard, make their own way in life, instead of freeloading on God and other poor souls who have enough financial pressures without asking them to cough up more! I know it feels so “Un-American” but WWJD? Obviously, minister and live on the support of others.

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