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The rich life.

2 min. read

Jesus had some serious earning potential. He was a gifted orator, he amassed a following, and his name was well known. He had good reason to capitalize on his talent and fame, too, especially considering where he started …

When Jesus was born, he wasn’t set in a fancy bassinet or even a basic crib. Out of necessity, his mother placed him in a manger, a livestock feeding trough. From there, as he grew, he learned his father’s trade, which wasn’t banking or anything of the sort, but carpentry. Manual labor. Until the age of 30, this is what Jesus did while living in what many considered a Podunk town.

In short: Jesus started off disadvantaged with limited upward mobility.

And then, Jesus left his home and his livelihood to go on the road to teach. He had a message that he wanted to spread about love, forgiveness, and hope. He traveled with the clothes on his back and didn’t know where he would lay his head on any given night.

Yet, despite his lack of home, Jesus gained a reputation for having radical hospitality. He invited everyone to join him, no matter their history or station in life. When this unfettered welcome was offered to people, they often found themselves leaning in.

Take for example, Simon, an extremist who wanted to eradicate Roman rule over the Jews through bloodshed, and Matthew, a Jewish tax collector who happily served the Romans instead to line his own pockets. On paper, these two men shouldn’t have been able to stand in the same room together, but when walking with Jesus, their aspirations changed. They opened their hearts to each other and became like family.

Jesus had this effect on people. He valued those around him above all of society’s “valuables.” This upside-down attitude was a cornerstone of his teachings. He believed selfless love resulted in a happiness beyond what the material things in life could offer. And his message spread like wildfire. At one point, his large following wanted to rise up and anoint him as their ruler. The position would’ve come with endless money and power, but Jesus fled from it so that he could continue his mission.

He believed in his message so much that he embodied it to the end of his life. In his last days, he was mocked as a man with means. A king, his rivals called him while placing a fake crown made of thorny branches on his head. What they didn’t know was that Jesus had lived the richest life of all, filled with a love so immense that he was willing to sacrifice everything for everyone — which is exactly what he did.

Jesus taught there is no greater love than sacrificing for others. And as time has shown, he also proved that this kind of love has an earning potential without limits.

Scripture References: Luke 12:34, Romans 13:8, Matthew 6:19-21, John 6:14-15, Acts 20:35, John 15:13, Luke 6:20-30
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