If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you’re not alone. Even Jesus was born into poverty, and he struggled day-to-day to put food on his table.
The story of his birth paints the picture of a family with little to their name. Mary and Joseph gave birth to Jesus in a city far from their home and laid him in a manger – a feeding trough for animals. That night, the family was visited by shepherds – impoverished strangers who were often discriminated against by others in society.
Later, they became refugees. They left their meager belongings behind as they fled to Egypt to avoid a government death squad that had been ordered to kill every infant boy in the region.
Jesus grew up in the humble town of Nazareth, but he had the opportunity to build wealth. He was the son of a carpenter, which means he would have learned the skills of a lucrative trade. And during his ministry, he was recognized as a Rabbi, which means he would have looked and dressed like someone with means. But instead of pursuing wealth with his skills and gifts, he pursued radical love of all. And so, he relied on the financial support of people who followed his teachings. And as an itinerant teacher, he didn’t have a permanent address to call home – relying again on the kindness of others for a place to sleep.
But Jesus was no stranger to hard work. He put in long hours and toiled to support others. He sacrificed much of his own wants and needs to meet the needs of the people around him.
Jesus never had financial security, but he famously taught his followers not to worry about where they were going to sleep, what they were going to wear, or where they’d be getting their next meal, but to be content with being sustained. And to trust that if they pursued love of all people, they would be taken care of.