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Self-described Christian “prophet” Robin Bullock says that Jesus was a wealthy man who owned five houses. This isn’t mentioned in Scripture, but Bullock has never been a guy known for citing his sources. He made the comments on Saturday during the Fresh Fire Prophetic Conference 2022:

… Now you can see it play out on the cross. When they took His raiment, he had three garments. Only the rich wore three… It got quiet. It always gets quiet ’cause everybody thinks Jesus just rode around on a donkey, eating off the ground. He had five houses. [Imitating critics] I don’t know if I believe that. I don’t even care. He had five houses!…

Why else do you think Joseph could get up in the middle of the night, hire a whole caravan, and go to Egypt? He had the moola to do it.

Hard to imagine the family that supposedly gave birth in a manger and the guy who wore sandals were secretly rolling in shekels. But it’s not like Bullock is alone in spreading this rumor. Just last week, “prophetess” Kat Kerr made a similar comment about Jesus’ bank account:

… God has showed me several times what He means by the word “wealth.” Not what you think. Because the more you spend it for Him, the more He’s going to send it… Christ didn’t actually live poor. He grew up in wealth. With wealth. He had wealth His whole life. So these people who try to say it’s wrong to be rich, you know, it’s more holy to be poor, I don’t think so… Do you know I saw some people’s mansions in Heaven? They were the size of New York City. One mansion. So He’s not poor. And He’s certainly not broke.

You know things are bad when her comments about mansions in Heaven are secondary to her insistence that Jesus wasn’t broke.

This isn’t necessarily a new idea. There’s an argument to be made that families with donkeys were well off. That a baby who receives gold, frankincense, and myrrh could only have come from an upper class family. That Jesus’ undergarments had to be expensive for the reasons Bullock mentioned.

At the same time, not being broke isn’t the same as being ridiculously wealthy, and the story of Jesus revolves around His accessibility to people who weren’t elite in any way. If Jesus was rich, the Bible shows Him using His status to benefit others. And, of course, there’s the line about how “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

None of that, however, suggests Jesus was some sort of trust fund baby.

Usually, when Christian preachers talk about money, it’s more of a prosperity gospel vibe. The Joel Osteen version that says if you give to God (via the preacher and his church, naturally), you’ll be rewarded with much more, or that God wants you to be financially successful.

Preachers like Bullock and Kerr look down on Osteen and other televangelists. And so here they are changing the narrative to say Jesus was wealthy, therefore His followers deserve to be wealthy, and they can achieve that by giving generously… to people like Bullock and Kerr.

(Thanks to Kyle for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.