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Jesus was well-off. He had a lot of money. He didn’t live as if he had a lot of money, but he did have a lot of money. Judas Iscariot knew that only too well, because, as the gospel points out, Judas was in charge of the money (he “kept the bag”), kind of like a combined accountant/lawyer/administrator. He skimmed from it, too, because that was the kind of person he was. Of course, Jesus knew about the skimming but he let it happen anyway. Money didn’t mean much to Jesus; he had lots of it, but it was just a means to an end. (more…)
People say that you can’t live without money, but it’s God that you can’t live without.
Money you can definitely live without. God you can’t.
Yet, even knowing this, how many of you still spend the lion’s share your days doing things for the sole purpose of getting something that you can live without (money)?
You don’t need to answer that.
You’re reading this, so I already know the answer.
When will you have your “Matthew moment”? When will you just get up and walk away from whatever it is you do to make money, whatever it is you waste your precious time doing, day in and day out, just to make money?
Matthew walked away, and he never looked back. He didn’t give two weeks’ notice, either. He just upped and walked.
Jesus had no money. People gave him money, but Jesus gave it to Judas Iscariot to hold and disperse to the poor as he saw fit. Judas was a bank and a charitable organization all rolled into one. And, like all banks and most charitable organizations, he cheated, lied and stole. That’s why Jesus put him in charge of the money – because it was of no value to him. Someone who cheats, lies and steals is the best person to put in charge of something that has no value to you.
In a corrupt world, which is what we live in, held captive by a corrupt monetary system, which is what we’re held captive by, the only way to escape it is to reject the corrupt values and refuse to participate.
That’s what Jesus did.
Instead of spending his final few years toiling as a carpenter, earning the roof over his head and the food in his mouth by the sweat of wasted labour, he went to work for God full-time. And all his earnings he invested in the Bank of God. He got paid daily, but asked for only enough to keep body and soul together, while the rest of his earnings he let God disperse as he saw fit.
This is how Jesus lived – working full-time for his Father, and trusting his Father to take care of him.
Jesus had no money. He didn’t need any. Money had no value to him. If he needed a place to stay, God found him one. If he needed food, God arranged for someone to invite him for dinner or took him to a field with corn that was ripe for the plucking. If he was ordered to pay an unexpected tax, God sent him a fish with a gold coin in its mouth.
This is how God works, when you work for God. Just as the wild animals have their needs looked after, so too do God’s labourers have their needs looked after, as long as they put in an honest day’s work in God’s kingdom.
When will YOU have your Matthew moment? When will YOU walk away from money, like Jesus did?
Money you can live without, even in this corrupt world.
God you cannot live without.
Ho, every one that thirsteth,
come ye to the waters,
and he that hath no money;
come ye, buy, and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk
and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money
for that which is not bread?
and your labour
for that which satisfieth not?
Hearken diligently unto me,
and eat ye that which is good,
and let your soul delight itself