Jesus's Words

The Cult of Paul

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Contrast #03: how they "made their living"...

Throughout Paul's ministry we see him seeking material security(Despite his regular claims to the contrary - e. g. The one who is righteous will live by faith, cited by Paul in both Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11. See also Romans 5:1-2, 8:1-2, 13, Galatians 5:16-17, 6:8, 1 Corinthians 2:5, 9:15-18, 15:1-28, 2 Corinthians 11:9.) - doing so via working for money with his own hands,(Acts 18:1-4, 20:34, 1 Thessalonians 2:9.) doing so via directly asking for financial assistance from others, where he wrote, Do we not have the right to our own food and drink?... If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits?... In the same way the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.1 Corinthians 9:4-14. See also, Philippians 4: 15-18, 2 Corinthians 9:11-14, 2 Corinthians 11:8 and Those who are taught the Word must share in all good things with their teacher.Galatians 6:6 He even did so via guilt-tripping others into providing for his needs, writing, I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others It is appropriate for you not only to do something but also to desire to do something. Now finish doing it, so that your eagerness might be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has... I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is simply a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their present need.2 Corinthians 8:8-14. See also Romans 15:27, 2 Corinthians 8:2, Philippians 4:16

In marked contrast, Jesus consistently preaches living a life sustained by humility and faith. One does not live by bread alone, but rather by every word that comes from the mouth of God.Matthew 4:4 He taught that his followers must abandon all attachment to their material possessions,(Luke 14:33.) that they should use their wealth to lessen the suffering of the poor(Matthew 19:16-21, Luke 12:33, 18:18-22.) and/or to care for their enemies,(Luke 10:29-37, - noting that the hero of this tale is a Samaritan, a cultural enemy of the Jews at the time; the one who "shows mercy", something that can only be given to one who has wronged us) and that his disciples should only accept as "payment" that which is freely offered by others.(Luke 8:1-3, 10:5-7.) While he did indeed note that laborers deserve their food, Jesus felt that it was not for his followers to in any way expect the same, ask for the same, or provide for the same themselves. He said, Do not be concerned, for it is the Father's great pleasure to give you the Kingdom.Luke 12:22-32. See also Matthew 10:8-10, 6:25-33, Luke 10:1-8... In harmony with this admonition, Jesus never earned any money on his own, but rather ministered to all for free and lived only on what was freely given to him by others...(Luke 8:3, Mark 15:41, along with the many times others invited him into their homes for food and shelter, a la Luke 11:37.) This is how Jesus avoided hypocrisy while making it clear that we can either serve God or wealth, never both simultaneously. What is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God...Luke 16:13-15. See also, Matthew 6:22—24, 8:22—23, Mark 4:18—19, Luke 6:20, 12:21 As such, Jesus passionately advocated for storing up treasures in Heaven(via persistent deeds of selfless Kindness - see Matthew 24:12-14, 25:34-40, Luke 6:30, John 13:15-17.) instead of material treasures on earth.Luke 12:15. See also Luke 17:20-21, Matthew 6:19-21.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than mere food, and the body more than mere clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them... And consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; neither toiling nor spinning. And yetI tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. And yet if God so clothes the grass of the field, will He not much more clothe you as well? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat? 'or 'What will we drink? 'or 'What will we wear?' Strive instead to serve the Kingdom of God and to embody His righteousness, and all these other things will be provided you as well.Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:25-33

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