1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him.
2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
5 A sower went out to sow his seed… Lk. 8:5
There is so, so much to wonder at and think about in these scriptures. But first…
I read in the news this morning that New York’s richest couple – David and Julia Koch – just bought a $40m mansion on a whim, right in the heart of New York, NY. Reading much further down the news article, I read that the couple have an estimated net worth of $47.5 billion.
Sometime last year, I read about the death of Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress of the L’Oreal fashion empire. At a net worth of $46 billion dollars she was the richest woman in the world.
For all it is worth, I love reading about these rich people. I love the way my brain gets ‘stuck’ trying to gauge the implications of the wealth they have. I admire them, but at the same time my heart goes out to them. But the thing that blows me away is when I wonder what a small percentage of these people’s wealth could do in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ (as long as it does not go to Creflo Dollar & co, of course; God forbid!)
Anyways, that’s me. Thank you for bearing with my musings. Now, back to our main thought.
The scripture portion we just read above pretty much sums up Jesus’s ministry modus operandi. It provides the broadest view possible of how Jesus operated His ministry. As we go through this lesson, it is very important for us to grasp that fact.
Rumor has it that the garment that Jesus wore (the one that the soldiers cast lots upon) was unspeakably expensive. The spinners of this tale claim that it was one of the many expensive gifts that Jesus received from the women who ministered to Him. They point to the fact that, amongst these women were such women of status like Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward.
There can be no doubt that Joanna was a woman of great material means. And there is no question that there were other women who were equally materially endowed. That said, therefore, it is clear that had Jesus wanted to, He could have lived like a rock star. But subscribing to the idea that Jesus lived such a life is alien to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Believing the tale that the garment that Jesus wore was unbearably expensive is the equivalent of believing that Jesus would have worn a golden Rolex watch.
But Jesus would never have worn a Rolex watch, let alone one made of gold. The Bible in Philippians 2:7 states that, although He was Lord of all, yet He
“made himself of no reputation”.
He “made himself”. That means of His own will, of His own volition (volition means wish, decision, choice, desire, preference) Jesus chose the kind of lifestyle that He wanted to live. We cannot plaster any kind of ideas upon Jesus. He chose, and the Bible tells us the kind of lifestyle that He chose to live. He chose to become
“of no reputation”.
He cast aside anything that pertained to glory, worldly or heavenly. We do not need to go very far to establish that Jesus did not need to wear an expensive garment. Jesus cannot contradict Himself.
Of His abode, Jesus stated plainly:
“the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Mat. 8:20)
A preacher who has nowhere to lay his head and one who wears a golden Rolex watch are two figures that are poles apart. And for the two aspects to be in one man is a contradiction in terms.