Jesus is often believed to have said that earning a decent living is wrong. What he actually meant was that the covetous pursuit of money is wrong. He wasn’t against earning a living; Jesus was against earning a living by defrauding our neighbors and moving away from having a relationship with God. Jesus knew that families and individuals needed money, and that they had to work for it. In fact, as an artisan, historians suggest that Jesus probably earned a wage comparable to others of his day. Jesus knew and knows we all have to pay our bills.
Jesus was also a friend of the wealthy. Two rich benefactors, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, not only provided him with support, but were responsible for his tomb, and the perfumes and shroud needed for the burial. Jesus wasn’t biased against any social group, he was biased toward those who lived for God, who loved God and their neighbor. Both Nicodemus, who interestingly was a Pharisee, and Joseph had engaged with Jesus in seeking the truth. Both men learned that truth. Both men, who were from the elite, showed that even though they were part of the structure Jesus was trying to change, they were people who pursued God and wanted a different life.
Jesus knew the value of hard work. He was more concerned with citizens who did not have a giving nature, who protected their assets when others were in need. He was interested in a person’s self-worth, not net worth. Jesus loved a generous heart.
from pages 71-72