Here’s an interesting hypothesis I have never really considered before — perhaps Jesus was well-to-do. From CNN:
(CNN) — Each Christmas, Christians tell stories about the poor baby Jesus born in a lowly manger because there was no room in the inn.
But the Rev. C. Thomas Anderson, senior pastor of the Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Arizona, preaches a version of the Christmas story that says baby Jesus wasn’t so poor after all.
Anderson says Jesus couldn’t have been poor because he received lucrative gifts — gold, frankincense and myrrh — at birth. Jesus had to be wealthy because the Roman soldiers who crucified him gambled for his expensive undergarments. Even Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, lived and traveled in style, he says.
“Mary and Joseph took a Cadillac to get to Bethlehem because the finest transportation of their day was a donkey,” says Anderson. “Poor people ate their donkey. Only the wealthy used it as transportation.”
This argument seems to be trying to position Jesus more as a real person who worried about money and getting by, and perhaps when he wanted to buy something he used the “there will always be poor” rationalization. It’s a subtle point with potentially big implications. What were the gradations of poverty back in the time of Christ, and where did he and his family stand in comparison?