On this Christmas Day, as I sit eating my eggy-weggs and looking forward to dinner with friends, I chanced upon this CNN story about the “prosperity gospel”. This is an evangelical movement that claims Jesus was wealthy – so you should be wealthy, too!
Of course, this up-ends untold centuries of church instruction about Christ’s poverty and humility, and it makes a mockery of everything that was ever valuable about Christianity, but I decided to go with it.
Here’s my new revised historical analysis…
When Jesus was born, his original investors were three Wise Venture Capitalists. They bestowed the child with seed money for his eventual rise to economic power.
It’s a known fact that young Jesus invested wisely in oxcart derivatives. His Jewish parents made sure he was keen to spot opportunity, and the young Jesus wasted no time compiling a small fortune.
Because he lived so far from Boca Raton, he had to make do with a seaside split-level on Galilee. He spruced it up with mural windows and vaulted ceilings; visitors were fairly impressed.
Eventually, Jesus figured out that the market was settling. As a positive growth capitalist, he needed to diversify his portfolio so he went into direct marketing. This was hugely successful; not only did he score massive donations, but the market response to his carefully crafted infomercials was nothing short of sensational.
Emboldened by this turn of fortune, Jesus headed into Jerusalem in an effort to pull off a hostile takeover of the Pharisees. He upended the local commodities market and declared himself (and his investors) as the new 51% owners of the Jewish faith.
Unfortunately, he underestimated the legal acumen of the Jewish elite. He lost in Roman arbitration and was sentenced to death, which was fairly common during the early days of the free market.
Before that fateful day, he instructed his investors to deify him upon his death. In this way, they could work to recover some of his gains and, in time, create a for-profit foundation in his name.
The rest is history. Not only did the Jesus H. Christ Foundation flourish, it skipped the measly market in Jerusalem and took over Rome itself. Soon all of Europe and Near Asia was generating millions for the Foundation. Investors were bilked for centuries on end. To this day, wealthy Foundation investors are bringing competitive markets to their knees in the Middle East.
It’s a remarkable story of economic might, enlightened self-interest and the positive effects of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. That’s why we celebrate Christmas. That’s why we celebrate Easter.
Jesus is the Light and the Way, and the best investment for your dollar. Amen.