Biblical Finance: Did Jesus Ask for Money, Earn from Preaching, or Receive Financial Support?

We delve deep into various aspects; from His views on wealth and material possessions, to the financial support for His ministry, from whether Jesus had a profession or not, to the question of whether He ever sought monetary rewards for His divine miracles or teachings.

Last Updated:
April 27, 2024
8 Minutes

Table of Contents

Without a doubt, when turning to Jesus' financial engagement and independence, we are compelled to contemplate deeper spiritual realities of provision, reliance, and the purpose of material wealth within the grand scheme of divine intent.

In the grand canvas of history, endless debates and discussions have diverged around the financial aspects of one's life; even more so when it concerns an iconic figure like Jesus Christ. But did Jesus Christ ever request monetary aid? Was the vocation of love and peace he preached paid for in earthly coin? And if not, who then bore the financial burden of his traveling ministry and how did he sustain himself? Our exploration into this realm of Christ's life shall subtly challenge us to reconsider our ideas of wealth, generosity, and love. Through this journey, you might discover that small acts of love can indeed fuel grand missions, echoing throughout time and shifting worlds.

What does the Bible say about Jesus' financial situation?

While the Gospels provide intricate details about Jesus' spiritual doctrine and teachings, they exhibit a certain penury of factual insight into Christ's financial circumstances. It is well documented that Jesus was born into a humble working-class family, Joseph being a carpenter by trade (Matthew 13:55). Nonetheless, this existence in relative poverty did not remain static throughout Jesus' lifetime.

If we turn to Luke 2:24, it is reflected that Jesus' family offered a pair of doves or two young pigeons at his presentation in the temple, a sacrifice stipulated for those who could not afford a lamb (Leviticus 12:8), underscoring their economical hardships in His early life. However, conjectures have been made that the family's financial conditions improved over time, positing Jesus' upbringing to be more middle-class than impoverished.

Interestingly, when Jesus began his public ministry, he purportedly chose the life of voluntary poverty. Jesus’ declaration in Luke 9:58 that "The Son of Man has no place to lay his head" could be inferred as a self-imposed material want, but it also echoes his dedication and nonmaterialistic life dedication. There are no biblical records indicating that Jesus was compensated for his teachings or miracles. Rather, it appears that Jesus and his disciples were supported by the financial contributions of those who chosen to follow His teachings, as implied in Luke 8:3.


  • Jesus was born into a working-class family, indicating early life in relative poverty.
  • Family's offering at Jesus' presentation at the temple hints at their financial condition (Luke 2:24).
  • Propositions suggest that Jesus' family possibly improved their socio-economic status over time.
  • Jesus chose a life of voluntary poverty during His ministry (Luke 9:58).
  • There is no biblical evidence that Jesus was paid for his teachings or miracles.
  • His ministry was likely sustained by the donations of followers (Luke 8:3).

Are there examples of Jesus receiving donations or gifts?

Indeed, the Gospels bear testimony to numerous instances where Jesus received gifts or forms of donation. Conspicuous in this regard are the accounts of certain women who were financially prosperous and chose to utilize their resources for the betterment of Jesus' ministry. Luke, the physician turned Gospel writer, explicitly identified Mary Magdalene, Joanna, wife of Chuza, and Susanna as key financial contributors. These women, hailing from diverse socio-economic backgrounds but drawn together by their united faith in Christ's teachings, offered their wealth willingly, materially supporting Jesus' ministry. 

Tangential references also appear elsewhere in scripture. Delicate incidents, such as the acceptance of a costly perfume by Jesus, relayed in both Luke and John's Gospels, suggest that the acceptance of gifts, when presented in a spirit of genuine love and homage, was not an act from which Jesus shied away. Did this gesture not register to us the dual nature of Jesus - the divine who could look past the object, focusing on the heart's condition that gifted, and the human who accepted graciously, configuring it into the greater narrative of His life and mission? 

Yet, should we misconstrue these instances of gifts and donations as indications of self-indulgence or craving for personal wealth, we tread on dangerous grounds of ignorance. The available Gospels unanimously echo the singular objective of all received donations - to help sustain Jesus and His disciples during their ministry, to aid the delivery of the good news to more ears, more hearts. 

The act of accepting gifts, as seen in Jesus' life and ministry, thus unravels as an essential yet intricate aspect of the divine-human relationship, a delicate dance of offer and acceptance, framing the socio-economic backdrop of the times and radiating important spiritual connotations. 


  • The ministry of Jesus was materially aided by the generous donations of women like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna.
  • Tangential accounts of Jesus accepting personal gifts, such as the costly perfume, are embedded in the Gospels.
  • The primary objective of accepting donations was to sustain Jesus' and His disciples' ministerial responsibilities.
  • Acceptance of gifts in Jesus' ministry was a critical element of the divine-human relationship.

Did Jesus teach about tithing or giving money to the church?

In examining the teachings of Jesus Christ, it behooves us to explore what he imparted about tithing or the act of giving money to the church. The Gospels, primarily comprising Jesus' teachings, provides enlightening insights on this subject. 

As per the Gospel of Matthew (23:23), Jesus reproached the scribes and Pharisees for obsessing over the minor details of religious law, like tithing herbs, while neglecting to address heavier matters like justice, mercy, and faith. Though he emphasized the importance of these weightier aspects, he nevertheless cautioned, " ought to tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things." Herein, Jesus confirms the act of tithing but importantly places it within a broader context defining righteousness. 

In Jesus' teachings, wealth and possessions are less about the material than the spiritual. He warned, in the Gospel of Matthew (6:24), that one can't serve both God and money, indicating that where our treasure is, our hearts will be also. The essence of this message is that any monetary giving should derive from faith and an attitude of surrender to God, rather than a mechanistic adherence to obligation. 

While the Gospels don't provide explicit instances of Jesus instructing his followers to give money to a specific 'church', as the concept of 'church' as we understand it today did not exist, he did speak of supporting those in need. In the Gospel of Luke (12:33-34), he encouraged his followers to sell their possessions and give to the poor, reinforcing that one's true treasure resides in heaven. 

Therefore, based on the teachings of Jesus concerning tithing and giving, we observe a spiritual perspective that transcends the material and places value on faith, righteousness, and participation in the welfare of the needy. 


  • Jesus confirmed the act of tithing but emphasized the importance of justice, mercy, and faith (Matthew 23:23).
  • He taught that one cannot serve both God and Money, suggesting that the heart's placement in relation to our 'treasure' is indicative of our spiritual position (Matthew 6:24).
  • Though no instance of Jesus asking for donations to a specific 'church' exists, he urged followers to aid the poor by selling their possessions (Luke 12:33-34).
  • Jesus's teachings on wealth move beyond the material, urging followers towards spiritual richness attained through faith and care for the less fortunate.

What was Jesus' viewpoint on wealth and material possessions?

One of the most profound teachings of Jesus centered around the concept of wealth and material possessions. He viewed these earthly treasures as potentially detracting from the true spiritual pursuit of seeking unity with God. By examining Jesus' narrative with the rich young man, we find an exquisite illustration of this perspective. Jesus advised the affluent young seeker to sell everything he possessed and give to the poor in order to experience the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:17-31). This was not so much a condemnation of wealth, but rather a call to liberate oneself from the chains of materialism. Our delineation of wealth cannot remain the same in light of Jesus' teaching, can it? His words prompt us to reassess the importance we attach to worldly riches. He did not demonize wealth per se, nor did he portray the wealthy as irredeemable. Jesus interacted comfortably with people from all strata, commanding us to hold love as the fulcrum point of social interaction. The tacit claim that Jesus was poor, stemming from his declaration of having "nowhere to lay his head" (Luke 9:58), might need further examination. It rather emphasizes his lifestyle choice of simplicity, eschewing worldly comforts for spiritual pursuits. In conclusion, Jesus espoused a lucid outlook on wealth and materialism. In his worldview, wealth was a means, not an end, a tool to be utilized for the collective good. And materialism, when unclouded by excessive attachment, could pave the way to understanding the deeper, spiritual truths.


  • Jesus saw wealth and possessions as potential distractions from spiritual pursuits.
  • He encouraged the rich young man to sell all he had and give to the poor, illustrating the liberation from materialism.
  • The value we attach to worldly wealth should be reevaluated in light of Jesus's teachings.
  • Jesus did not reject wealth or the wealthy, but advised that worldly riches be used for the collective good.
  • His lifestyle reflected simplicity and spiritual focus, not necessarily poverty.

Did Jesus' disciples contribute financially to His ministry?

Indeed, the financial aspects of Jesus' ministry are distinctly colored by the humble backgrounds of his disciples. Most disciples were not men of abundant means, with the majority hailing from impoverished circumstances. Fishermen, such as Peter, Andrew, James, and John, left their trade, signifying their willingness to forgo income to follow Jesus, an act of faith that underscores their deep spiritual commitment. Was this an act of financial contribution? An intriguing question, certainly. Aspects of their financial involvement were witnessed in specific circumstances. For instance, the disciples indicated they could use their money to purchase food for a crowd of 5,000 individuals, which implies the collective involvement of disciples in managing funds.

More specifically, Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, held the role of a treasurer. He was entrusted with the 'money bag', a task that bears testimony to not only monetary but also ethical facets of discipleship. Moreover, the disciples held perceptions that Jesus could ask Judas to buy things they needed or give assistance to the less fortunate, casting light on how they perceived and responded to financial considerations within Jesus' ministry.


  • The disciples, mostly fishermen or from other low-income backgrounds, relinquished their profession to follow Jesus, foregoing potential income.
  • There are references in the Bible indicating their capability, and perhaps self-assigned responsibility, to use money for communal needs, such as feeding a large crowd.
  • Judas Iscariot, a disciple, held a distinctive role as the treasurer, responsible for managing the funds.
  • The disciples perceived that Jesus may ask for money to fulfill needs or provide for the poor, reflecting their understanding of the financial elements within Jesus' ministry.

Was there a treasurer among Jesus' disciples?

Indeed, the scripture speaks of a treasurer among Jesus' disciples; the individual chosen for this task was Judas Iscariot. Gospel accounts, especially the Book of John (12:6), allude to Judas as the one who held the purse or money bag, serving as a sort of accountant for Jesus and his disciples. It was a role of significant trust, positioning Judas in direct control to manage the collective funds provided by generous benefactors and followers. 

Evidently, this specific assignment signifies the organizational structure of Jesus' ministry and the importance of financial management within it. The disciples trusted these resources as provisions for their needs, and as a means to help the less fortunate. They perceived that Jesus directed Judas to make purchases necessary for their group or to distribute alms to the poor. Therefore, the presence of an assigned treasurer underscores Jesus' prudence and concern not merely for spiritual well-being, but for the physical and temporal considerations of worldly life. 

However, the Bible also conveys a cautionary tale through the figure of Judas. Despite being entrusted with the ministry's finances, his greed and betrayal led to his downfall. In this light, the biblical account of Jesus' treasurer serves a dual implication— as an essential arrangement for practical needs and a forewarning about the potential pitfalls of money and materialism. 


  • The scripture identifies Judas Iscariot as the treasurer among Jesus' disciples, responsible for holding and managing the money bag.
  • Judas' role highlights Jesus' ministry's organizational structure and accentuates the relevance of prudent financial management within it.
  • The disciples perceived Judas' usage of the funds as per Jesus' direction— for purchases that met their needs, or to provide for the poor.
  • The narrative of Judas also makes a cautionary point, illustrating the dire consequences that greed and betrayal, even in the face of monetary trust and responsibility, can engender.

How did Jesus fund His travels and ministry?

In examining the Gospels, we find that Jesus did not maintain a personal treasury from which He funded His travels or ministry. Instead, the underpinnings of His wanderings and teachings were largely sustained by voluntary donations. These contributions were primarily made by devout women who followed Jesus and His disciples, deeply invested in the advancement of His divine mission. This alignment of generosity and faith painted a clear depiction of the reliance on the Holy Providence that Jesus Himself embodied and preached. 

Further to this, it is instructive to reflect upon Mark 6:7-8, where Jesus imposes a form of apostolic poverty on His disciples. He commands them to embark on their journey unburdened by worldly resources such as money or bread, implying a distinct reliance on God's provision and the kindness of strangers. This approach not only ensured the simplicity and sincerity of their ministry but also became a profound embodiment of the teachings they were dispensing - to trust in God wholeheartedly. 

The management of these donations fell to one particular disciple - Judas, who served in the capacity of a treasurer. Nevertheless, Jesus did not possess a personal money bag, nor was He in possession of any money at the time of His crucifixion. 

It must be noted, however, that despite the financial and material constraints, Jesus' focus remained sharply on His ministry and its corresponding spiritual rewards. His teachings often centered around the deception of material wealth and encouraged tenacious adherence to faith and compassion over pecuniary considerations. This offers an insightful window into how Jesus may have viewed and managed monetary concerns, keeping His spiritual mission paramount above all else. 


  • Jesus' travels and ministry were predominantly funded by voluntary donations, mainly from devoted women followers.
  • Jesus did not sustain a personal treasury, embodying a reliance on divine providence and human generosity.
  • As per Jesus' directives in Mark 6:7-8, His disciples embarked on their journey without carrying money, relying solely on God's provision and the kindness of strangers.
  • The role of managing these donations was entrusted to Judas, who acted as the treasurer for Jesus' ministry.
  • Despite financial constraints and the lack of personal wealth, Jesus' teachings remained focused on spiritual wealth and compassion, hinting at His sincere and profound spirituality.

Is there any evidence in the Bible that Jesus was paid for His miracles?

Delving into the scriptures, one finds no evidence to suggest that Jesus received any form of monetary compensation for His awe-inspiring miracles. Indeed, the Gospels reveal a Jesus who healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the multitudes, and turned water into wine, all out of compassion and pure love, and without tit for tat.

This follows His teachings on giving freely what we have received freely (Matthew 10:8). He, in essence, performed these miracles as a manifestation of the divine power within Him and to validate His claim to being the Son of God (John 20:30-31), not as a service in exchange for a fee. In His eyes, these miracles were not transactional acts but transformative ones, aimed at inciting spiritual awakening and renewal.

To Jesus, the greatest payment was not in silver or gold, but rather the spiritual renewal of the people He ministered to. He yearned for men and women to recognize and acknowledge their need for a savior. This is the "wage" He sought - not an earthly one, but a heavenly one.


  • There is no biblical evidence that Jesus received monetary compensation for His miracles.
  • Jesus’ miracles were an expression of divine compassion and love, not transactional acts to be compensated with monetary rewards.
  • Instead of earthly rewards, Jesus sought the spiritual transformation and awakening of the people He ministered to.

Did Jesus have a job or profession?

Indeed, one may wonder whether the Son of God, who came to walk among men and lead them to salvation, had an occupation like any ordinary human. Ah, but the New Testament provides the answer. As chronicled in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55, Jesus was referred to as "the carpenter" and "the carpenter's son," respectively, an undeniable allusion to His earthly profession. The toil associated with His trade was not a source of shame or embarrassment but rather became a stepping stone to His divine pedagogy.

 In essence, Jesus' life as a carpenter served as an earthly parable, embodying His divine teachings concerning humility, dignity in labor, and the sanctity of ordinary life. But this is far from the entire story, is it not? For while carpentry was His trade, we cannot forget His divine calling as a preacher and teacher. His passionate sermons, parables of wisdom, and miraculous healings were His divine service, His eternal work - one might say, His real occupation.

 This brings us then, to a two-tier conclusion. In the earthly sense, Jesus was a carpenter, laboring at a respectable trade, a model for an honest livelihood. In the heavenly perspective, Jesus was a prophet, a healer, a groom preparing for His bride, the Church - in short, He was, and remains, our Savior.


  • According to Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55, Jesus was known as a carpenter.
  • His earth-bound occupation served as a metaphor for His divine teachings about dignity in hard work and the holiness of everyday life.
  • Jesus' heavenly occupation was His ministry - His preaching, teaching, healing and His divine role as our Savior.

Are there any biblical references to Jesus asking for money?

The scrutiny of biblical texts reveals no explicit mention of Jesus specifically requesting monetary contributions. He did, however, instruct His followers to provide relief for the poor and needy, which voluntarily involved financial input. These acts were not to enhance His personal wealth or support His ministry but served as pivotal demonstrations of love and compassion toward humanity. Jesus's teachings frequently revolve around the invaluable worth of spiritual treasures over material possessions.

As observed in Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus urges His followers, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." In the poignant instance of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22), Jesus instructed him to sell all his possessions and give to the poor in order to gain true wealth in heaven.

Ostensibly, Jesus’ interest here is not in acquiring wealth for himself but in embracing the moral and spiritual essence of detachment from earthly wealth. However, it is worth noting that while Jesus Himself did not request money, His ministry did receive financial support, as indicated by references to Judas Iscariot holding the money bag for the group. Though its context is not explicit, this implies donations were received, likely given to aid the itinerant lifestyle of Jesus and His disciples and to support the needy.


  • There is no biblical evidence indicating that Jesus explicitly requested money.
  • Jesus’ teachings often emphasized spiritual wealth over material possessions, indicating His disinterest in personal financial gain.
  • While Jesus did not ask for money, His ministry did receive financial contributions, implying that donations were used for providing relief to the poor and supporting His disciples' itinerant lifestyle.

Did Jesus earn any income from His teachings and preaching?

The Gospels make no mention of Jesus receiving any form of monetary compensation for His teachings or preachings. While the Lord Jesus Christ had profound impact on those around him, inciting fervor in crowds and commanding the respect of the high priests, there is no biblical record to suggest that He charged an entry fee to His sermons, accepted offerings in exchange for His sacred parables, or bartered His virtuous wisdom for worldly wealth. 

This should not come as a surprise considering the fact that Jesus adopted a life of voluntary poverty throughout His ministry. His purpose was not to amass wealth, but to disseminate the word of God, and to personify love, humility, and selflessness. What monetary wealth could possibly compare to the spiritual wealth that He bestowed upon humanity? 

RTaking this into account, one could ascertain that Jesus' 'income' was perhaps measured not in coins or tangible wealth, but in faith, devotion, and the spiritual progress of His followers. This aligns with His teachings on the supremacy of spiritual wealth over material wealth. It is, thus, safe to conclude that although there was no remuneration for Jesus’ ministry from a materialistic perspective, the spiritual 'income' that He gained was unmatched. 

Let us not forget that Jesus was a part of a working-class family and had very little in terms of material possessions. Neither did He have a personal money bag, nor did He possess any money when He was crucified. This signifies Jesus’s disregard for earthly wealth in his pursuit of spiritual fulfillment. 


  • There is no biblical record suggesting that Jesus ever received monetary compensation for His teachings or preachings.
  • Jesus endorsed a life of voluntary poverty throughout His ministry, prioritizing the spread of the divine word over the accumulation of material wealth.
  • Jesus' 'income' might be considered in spiritual terms, where his earnings were measured in faith, devotion, and spiritual progress.
  • His humble beginnings and lack of personal wealth borne out by biblical accounts underscore His indifference to material wealth.

What did Jesus do with the money given to him and his disciples?

In well-known passages of scripture, we are told that Judas Iscariot, the disciple who later betrayed Jesus, was tasked with managing the financial resources that came into the possession of Jesus and his followers. The funds, derived from generous donations often from devoted and affluent women (Luke 8:1–3), were seemingly used for a variety of purposes directly related to Jesus' ministry and the needs of the disciples (John 12:4-6). 

These funds acted as a vital resource, enabling the disciples to meet daily living expenses and to extend hospitality. It was a common practice during this period for travelling teachers and their followers to be supported by the broader community. Thus, we can extrapolate that these funds would have provided food, shelter, clothing, and potentially enabled the support of those in need. 

The New Testament does not directly speak to Jesus profiting or garnering personal wealth from these funds. Rather, we observe a consistent ethos in His teachings and personal life, one marked by simplicity and a deliberate eschewing of material wealth (Matthew 8:20). We must remember, however, that this non-materialistic approach does not equate to financial irresponsibility. In fact, having Judas as a designated treasurer suggests a necessary level of fiduciary duty and accountability. 

It is important to notice that in many instances, it also appears that Jesus and his followers were often on the receiving end of direct hospitality from others. This includes lodging with friends and followers as they traveled (Luke 19:5–7) and receiving meals from supporters (Luke 7:36–50; 10:38–42). This underlines both the communal nature of the society of the time, as well as the immediacy and tangibility of support for the religious teachers of the period. 

There is no biblical record of Jesus seeking to amass wealth or privately gain from the financial support given to him and the disciples. Jesus's earthbound existence was notably one of frugality and contentment, trusting in the Heavenly Father for material needs while being focused on the spiritual well-being of humanity.


  • Judas Iscariot was the treasurer for Jesus and His disciples, tasked with managing the acquired funds.
  • Necessary expenses, such as food, clothing, shelter, and hospitality, were covered by the financial support, reflecting the broader community's support for travelling teachers and their followers.
  • There is no biblical record of Jesus deriving personal monetary gain or wealth accumulation from these funds.
  • Jesus often received direct forms of support such as lodging and food from his followers and friends.
  • Jesus led a life marked by frugality and contentment, diverting focus away from material possessions to the well-being of humanity.

Facts & Stats

There is no biblical record of Jesus asking for money or receiving payment for preaching.

Jesus received financial support from several women who traveled with him, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna.

Jesus and his disciples shared a common purse for their needs and the needs of the poor.

Jesus taught about money and possessions more than any other topic, except the Kingdom of God.

The Bible records Jesus' teachings on giving and generosity, but not on personal wealth accumulation.

Jesus' ministry was largely supported by the hospitality of others, as was common for traveling teachers of his time.


Luke 8:1-3

John 13:29

Luke 8:2-3

Luke 10:5-9

Luke 24:1

Luke 5:6

John 19:39

John 3:1

John 3:1

Matthew 4:18-22

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