Would Jesus Ride in a Limo?
I once read a story about a pastor’s son who just got his driver’s permit and asked his father about using the family car. His father answered, “Son, I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Bible more, and get your hair cut. Then we will talk about it.”
Two months later the boy approached his father again about driving the family car. His father said, “Son, I'm real proud of you. You have brought your grades up and studied your Bible diligently...but why haven’t you gotten a haircut?”
The young man replied, “Samson had long hair. Even Jesus had long hair.”
His father said, “Yes, son…and they walked everywhere they went!”
Technically the pastor’s claim isn’t totally accurate. Just before He was crucified, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (John 12:14). People have used that as an excuse to criticize modern-day preachers who drive expensive cars or fly in private jets. One minister (whose teachings I usually agree with) posted on his Facebook page the above picture of a circuit preacher from 1867. He added the caption, “In the days before famous preachers were picked up at airports in stretch limos, this is how ministers got around.” Keep in mind, limos didn’t exist 150 years ago.
As a missionary I have traveled from place to place through a variety of means: car, bus, boat, train, and plane. Many times I’ve had to walk or ride a bicycle to go shorter distances. One time the Lord led me to hitchhike from one city in Virginia to another. Four separate drivers provided rides without me needing to stick out my thumb.
Then there was the time I took a bus from Detroit to London, Ontario to house sit for a Canadian friend. When I arrived at the London bus station, I called my friend who offered and arranged to have me picked up by a chauffeur driving a luxurious vehicle as a way to bless and honor me.
Most people don’t have a problem with celebrities and political leaders being treated as VIPs. So why not spiritual leaders? Jesus didn’t object to having expensive perfume poured over him as an offering. I believe He would respond the same way if offered a limousine ride today. Still I can imagine individuals saying, “That’s wasting resources that could be given to the poor.” These individuals are actually siding with Judas Iscariot (not exactly a good example to follow). Their concern for the poor is really a cover for covetousness.
God’s people shouldn’t get angry or jealous over brethren who have been faithful to Him and are enjoying some of the finer things in life. They need to get over having a poverty mindset. I heard another minister point out if all the wealth of the world was evenly distributed, everyone would be millionaires. Revelation 1:6 says Jesus “...has made us kings and priests.” Christians sometimes refer to themselves as “King’s Kids.” Therefore, it’s not a sin for a preacher to be given royal treatment unless he demands it.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” - 1 Peter 5:6