FROM HIS pauper’s birth in a stable in Bethlehem, to his criminal’s death on the cross outside Jerusalem, Jesus lived his life in poverty. He once said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
His was a voluntary poverty. It’s very clear that someone with his gifts could have made themselves very comfortable, but instead he chose the life of a wandering teacher. In the Gospel records we get hints of how he and his band of disciples lived in the three years of their ministry: they travelled systematically through the land of Judea (Luke 4:43), accepting offers of hospitality when they were made (Luke 19:5), and there was a network of women who made it their business to see they were looked after (Luke 8:3). Jesus and his followers had a communal purse and it seems they never had much money because he was in the habit of giving any surplus away.