Matthew 5.3. cont.
3 O the joy of the poor in spirit, the kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.
Perhaps a question we might consider is whether or not Jesus was poor in the physical sense.
“The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man does not have a place where He might lay down His head” – Luke 9.58.
Being a travelling preacher and teacher, Jesus would have to rely on the hospitality of His fellow Jews. An example of this would have been His staying in the home of Lazarus, and his sisters: Mary, and Martha.
We also know that some of the women supported Jesus and His disciples. They may have had some extra funds available to the disciples, since the disciples thought that Judas was sent by Jesus to either buy bread or give something to the poor:
29 For some thought, since Judas had the money bag, Jesus told him to buy what we needed for the feast, or so that He could give something to the poor – John 13.29.
However, we do not really know how Jesus and His disciples supported themselves, except from the women’s’ contributions.
Supporting a Rabbi was considered to be a pious act; however a Rabbi was legally bound to teach for nothing. It was not the professional ministry that we have today, which follows the New Testament teaching of Paul in his letter to Timothy:
17) For those elders who govern well let them be deemed worthy of double honour, especially those working hard in the word (preaching) and teaching.
18) For the Scripture says: “Do not muzzle (stifle) a cow when separating the grain/seed from the plant (threshing)”, and “The workman is worth his wages” – 1 Timothy 5.17-18.
All Rabbis were supposed to have a trade and support themselves in order to give their teaching free. Today, there are many pastors/ministers who work in the world in order to support the work of ministry to which Jesus has called them.
As mentioned we do not know how Jesus and the disciples supported themselves.
It is the responsibility of us all to work so that we may eat and not be poor:
The one who is stealing must not steal any more, but rather give his energy to working hard with his own hands so that he might have something to give to those in need – Ephesians 4.28.