Minimalists in History: Jesus of Nazareth


“One of the things we know about Jesus in the New Testament is that he owned nothing and was essentially a vagabond.”

Nathan Morris

In honor of the Christmas season, Jesus is today’s Minimalist in History. Or, if you prefer, Minimalist in Fiction; I write this blog for everyone interested in minimalism, whatever your religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Future posts covering other minimalist religious figures generally accepted by scholars to have been historical figures will appear under the History heading as well.

Below are some of Jesus’ sayings about material possessions and wealth.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25)

For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? (Matthew 16:26)

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. (Matthew 19:21-22)

And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Sell your possessions, and give alms. (Luke 12:33)

A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him … You know the commandments … He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. (Luke 18-25)

Note: All quotes are the New Revised Standard Version and taken from Bible Gateway.

4 thoughts on “Minimalists in History: Jesus of Nazareth

  1. Hello Christy,

    I am delighted to see that you are including Jesus as a minimalist, and I enjoyed being reminded of those Bible verses.
    It strikes me that not all minimalists are also altruists; of course Jesus was both.

    Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

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