What Did Jesus Teach About Wealth?

When Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19), the term “lay up” did not simply speak of having possessions, but of your possessions having you. “Lay up” could be better translated “hoard” or “stockpile.”

Jesus was not saying that it is wrong to have things. He was warning against becoming materialistic—letting things become more important than God.

God created us to love people and use things, but a materialist loves things and uses people. There is nothing wrong with having possessions and a successful career. The apostle Paul wrote, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). God can bless a person. In fact, we read in the Bible of those who had wealth, such as Abraham, Job, David, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary, and Barnabas.