Do you cringe at the mention of Prosperity Gospel? Or do you shout at the top of your voice on YouTube comments at preachers who smile a lot? You are not alone, you are in the company of people who got angry with Jesus for preaching prosperity and health.
But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”. So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath.
~ Luke 4: 25 – 28
There is something peculiar here, the widow was prospered when all the land was in famine and Naaman the only person healed of leprosy in the Old-Testament, both were Gentiles.
I can’t help but draw a comparison to the modern times here, the ones prospering and getting healed even today are not religious folks but people who are traditionally considered as “less deserving”.
Notice how people got angry with Jesus when he talked about Prosperity and healing?
Even today, people get angry when Preachers preach that God wants his people to be rich and God wants to heal his people. They push away the Free gift of riches and healing God provided through the finished works of Jesus on the cross.
I promise you, these very same people will end up looking for riches and healing from the world. And end up blaming God for poverty and sickness.
Notice before Luke 4 Jesus never condemned the rich people. But after the events of Luke 4, you see Jesus condemning the riches of the world. What does this teach us?
There is no Prosperity Gospel
But, the Gospel produces Prosperity and brings healing to the people, it’s always the side effect. It’s an abomination when preachers abuse the scripture by preaching materialism and end up using the Church funds for their personal luxury.
The Greek word for Gospel εὐαγγέλιον (Evangelion) literally means the Good News. The Gospel, the good news is about Christ and his finished works on the cross, it’s NOT about any of us, but him. That our sins of past, present and future are put away because of what Jesus did on the cross.
The Good News is that by HIS stripes we are healed and by his poverty, on the cross we are made rich. The Good News is not about the petty desire to store up riches by our works but enjoying riches as a gift.
And this gift is not for us to be selfish but for blessing the poor and the sick.