Our priest said Jesus gambled

I’m currently in RCIA and while attending mass on Friday our priest said Jesus liked to gamble. This shocked me! I could not believe this, his exact words," Jesus like to put a little money on the ponies". I find this hard to believe let alone prove in scripture. He also said Jesus spent a lot of time in a town named Amos. He said it was the Vegas of the bible. Is any of this true? Did Jesus like to put a little money on the ponies?

There is no mention of a place called Amos in the New Testament. There was a city called Amos in Turkey, but Christ never went to Turkey as far as the Gospels tell us.

I find that claim of your priest to be pretty scandalous and offensive, as well as completely fabricated. I guarantee that Christ did not waste His time on this earth betting money on athletic events. Rather, it was Judas who was dishonest with money, and the Roman soldiers who cast lots for Christ’s garments while He died on the cross.

Also, let us consult Catholic Encyclopedia on gambling: “From very early times gambling was forbidden by canon law. Two of the oldest (41, 42) among the so-called canons of the Apostles forbade games of chance under pain of excommunication to clergy and laity alike.”

If your priest truly said what you report he said, I would consider that a grave distortion. I might even ask him to clarify what he meant by making such an outrageous claim. Remember to be charitable.

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John 21:25 : “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.”

I find that claim of your priest to be pretty scandalous and offensive, as well as completely fabricated.

WHY? :confused: Imaginative perhaps, and irrelevant perhaps, but certainly not scandalous or offensive and you cannot know that it is fabricated.

I guarantee that Christ did not waste His time on this earth betting money on athletic events.

And where did you get the authority to “guarantee” us all as to what our Lord did and didn’t do? Do you honestly think that our Lord never spent one moment of His earthly life doing something which was not directly necessary for His mission of salvation?

Rather, it was Judas who was dishonest with money,

You seem to think that betting and being dishonest with money are the same thing. They are not.

and the Roman soldiers who cast lots for Christ’s garments while He died on the cross.

Do you think it’s impossible that our Lord might have done something just because Roman soldiers are recorded as having done it?

Also, let us consult Catholic Encyclopedia on gambling: “From very early times gambling was forbidden by canon law. Two of the oldest (41, 42) among the so-called canons of the Apostles forbade games of chance under pain of excommunication to clergy and laity alike.”

Our Lord is not bound by canon law, and nobody is bound retrospectively by canon law.

If your priest truly said what you report he said, I would consider that a grave distortion. I might even ask him to clarify what he meant by making such an outrageous claim. Remember to be charitable.

I consider that what you said here is a grave distortion, an outrageous claim and uncharitable.

I would like to know the context in which your priest made this claim. Was it during a homily? Did he mean his comment to be taken literally or was he saying that Jesus was a person who took risks in his life? As one person has commented, there are many things which Jesus may have done which are not recorded in scripture, but I also have difficulty believing that Jesus would have gambled money away on horses, especially when he was so aware of those in need. We do know that Jesus did not sin, which is not to say that gambling is necessarily sinful. I would say that Jesus was probably aware of how gambling can lead to neglect of more important aspects of life and I tend to think he would have focused on those aspects more than on the gaming tables.

I would ask this priest to substantiate his claim (i.e., “chapter and verse please”).

Hey but if He knew which horse was going to win, He was not gambling the money away but increasing the money He could give to those in need.:smiley:

We do know that Jesus did not sin, which is not to say that gambling is necessarily sinful. I would say that Jesus was probably aware of how gambling can lead to neglect of more important aspects of life and I tend to think he would have focused on those aspects more than on the gaming tables.

We also know that He ate and drank enough for Him to be (falsely) accused of being a glutton and a drunkard.
We also know that there was a Jewish prophet named Amos. There may well have been a Galilean town or village named after him in the first century.

CCC 2413 “Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are** not in themselves **contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.”

We cannot use John 21:25 to insert any imaginable activity as one that Jesus may have done and preach it as fact. That is ridiculous.

It is even more ridiculous to insist that our Lord **must not have done **anything which the Gospels do not specifically record Him as having done. And it is ridiculous to deny the possibility, or in fact the strong probability, that our Lord undertook a morally indifferent activity which was very common among the people of the Holy Land in His time there.

Also note that the ancient canon law proscriptions against gambling made a distinction between activities like horseracing which depend largely on skill, strength, athleticism etc, and games of pure chance.

Not only is the priest unable to provide any evidence for his claim, but was purpose could he have in saying that? If he is trying to “prove” Jesus’ humanity, he can do so without concocting some wild story. It’s actions like this by some priests that do more harm than good when it comes to homilies or RCIA classes.

Right. Which is why I qualified the statement saying, “as far as the Gospels tell us.”

Our Lord is not bound by canon law, and nobody is bound retrospectively by canon law.

The quote from Catholic Encyclopedia was meant to provide for the fact that from the earliest days, betting was viewed by the Church was being immoral and sinful. In many circumstances, it still is—especially since this priest said that Christ spent “a lot of time” gambling. Spending “a lot of time” gambling is sinful. Christ did not sin. He made Himself subject to the law while He was on earth.

WHY? :confused: Imaginative perhaps, and irrelevant perhaps, but certainly not scandalous or offensive and you cannot know that it is fabricated. And where did you get the authority to “guarantee” us all as to what our Lord did and didn’t do? Do you honestly think that our Lord never spent one moment of His earthly life doing something which was not directly necessary for His mission of salvation? You seem to think that betting and being dishonest with money are the same thing. They are not. Do you think it’s impossible that our Lord might have done something just because Roman soldiers are recorded as having done it?

I can guarantee that Christ never sinned. The teaching authority of the Church is the only authority by which I am able to guarantee anything. My examples about Judas and the Roman soldiers are only supposed to illustrate that financial impropriety is sinful and so Our Lord wouldn’t have spent any large amount of His time gambling money at a racetrack. (I am not saying that gambling is always sinful, but it is a “borderline” activity that is at the least fraught with moral danger.) For a Jew to be betting on Roman horse races would have been viewed as scandalous and irresponsible and there’s no evidence to suggest that Our Lord ever did it.

I consider that what you said here is a grave distortion, an outrageous claim and uncharitable.

Well touché, my friend. Are you saying this because you think it’s possible that Christ was a gambler? (Not just “that he gambled”, but “was a gambler”; in other words, that it was a habit or pastime of His.) Please reconcile that with the Church’s teaching on gambling.

In any case, what the priest said would be taken as an explicit endorsement of gambling by the congregation. This is scandal.

Hi, I would never say that Jesus gambled. Unless of course when it comes to us. Are we a gamble in life? I would say yes, and only we can either set the deck for us or against us.

Jesus left us the power of the Holy Spirit in the Church to guide us and feed us with the Eucharist. So in order to get a ace in the whole He left us the food for our soul the Eucharist. That is a sure bet!!

I can’t say that Jesus would ever really gamble though because it would be impossible for him to do so. He is after all God and knows everything. Do you see what I am saying? To gamble is to be unsure and place a bet and have a chance of winning or losing. Jesus knows the outcome which would throw him out of the game we can say!:smiley:

This is an interesting point. The fact of Christ’s omnipotence would have made Him a cheater if He had ever gambled, wouldn’t it? Therefore it would have been sinful, and so Christ never gambled. Neat and tidy.

I´m still waiting to read the context in which this Priest said what he said. God bless:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

I think you are right. Alot of time people don’t mean to but they misunderstand the point the Priest is trying to get across.

Like we have one in this area that said what keeps people from getting into heaven is they have too many big buts!:eek:

Yep:D He THEN said I would go to Church BUT its too early.
I would go to confession BUT its…

and so on and so on.

Its just alot of times people don’t exactly comprehend what the Priest is saying, or his point came across to them wrong.

Its called a case of making a mountain out of a molehill sometimes. I agree with the advice to go back, check with the Priest and it should wrap up this whole misunderstanding:D

Father touched on it briefly during RCIA, but came right out and said it during his homily. He was comparing Jesus and John the Baptist. John came not eating and drinking but rather a life of prayer and abstinence and was not accepted. Jesus on the other hand came eating and drinking and was not accepted either.

Scripture reading for Friday, Dec. 10
Matthew 11: 16 - 19

16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates,
17 We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.' 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon’;
19 the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

Father said that since Jesus was a friend of sinners and tax collectors that showed that Jesus was human and enjoyed the simple pleasures of this life. He enjoyed a drink with his friends. He enjoyed social events, going to parties eating very nice food. He liked to put a little money on the ponies. Jesus enjoyed all the things that John the Baptist abstained from (did not mention sex). Father said that Jesus and his deciples would frequent Amos (town in Turkey) which was the Vegas of the BIble. This is where Jesus would have betted on horses.

Father said there are two paths. One of abstinence like John the Baptist or a life filled with the enjoyment of the pleasures of this life. He said there was a saint (nun) which often said there are times of fasting and prayer and then there are time for eating partridge. Partridge was an expensive meal equal to our lobster today. Father said that by this we could see there are times to abstain and other times to let our hair down and enjoy the pleasures of life.

catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=33696

According to that link, the church never condemned gambling unless done in excess.

Having said that though, I find it strange that your preist would say such things. Saying it’s possible that Jesus and his apostles gambled is a lot different than saying with some certainty that they did. What’s his source? I don’t remember the Bible saying anything about that. Which isn’t to say it didn’t happen, but there’s no reason to say that it did happen either.

I find it hard to believe Jesus gambled though. Not because it’s a sin, but because it seems impossible. Jesus is God, and therefore all knowing. With Him, it wouldn’t be a gamble, He would already know which horse was going to win.

As for gambling when there’s needy, well, there’s an explanation for that too. What if they donated their winnings?

What He has done but that was not either recorded in the Gospels, nor handed down in tradition, is merely speculative and totally irrelevant to the faith.

And to make an assertion about what Jesus did in his private life, without a shred of evidence to support it, is equally ridiculous.

The priest should really be teaching us about the lessons and truths that can be gleaned from His public ministry. What He did for recreation, or what He had for dinner on nights other than the Last Supper, are unknown and of little value for promulgating the powerful lessons of His ministry. There is certainly nothing in sacred tradition or the Gospels to proclaim the Jesus gambled, and to make an affirmation to that effect ridiculous and does nothing to deepen our understanding of Christianity.

Touche, my friend.

The quote from Catholic Encyclopedia was meant to provide for the fact that from the earliest days, betting was viewed by the Church was being immoral and sinful.

No, the Church has never said that all betting is sinful. She certainly has never made ny universal decalarations to that effect.

In many circumstances, it still is—especially since this priest said that Christ spent “a lot of time” gambling.

That is pure fabrication on your part. In fact the OP said exactly the opposite, that our Lord gambled only “a little” and that he “liked” to gamble. Pope John Paul II liked to have a beer. That didn’t make him a drunkard.

Spending “a lot of time” gambling is sinful. Christ did not sin.

No kidding? Gee I learn something new every day. :rolleyes:

He made Himself subject to the law while He was on earth.

Yes, to the Jewish Law and the civil law. Not retrospectively to the canon law which would centuries later be made by the Church which he hadn’t founded yet.

I can guarantee that Christ never sinned. The teaching authority of the Church is the only authority by which I am able to guarantee anything. My examples about Judas and the Roman soldiers are only supposed to illustrate that financial impropriety is sinful and so Our Lord wouldn’t have spent any large amount of His time gambling money at a racetrack. (I am not saying that gambling is always sinful, but it is a “borderline” activity that is at the least fraught with moral danger.) For a Jew to be betting on Roman horse races would have been viewed as scandalous and irresponsible

like many things our Lord did

and there’s no evidence to suggest that Our Lord ever did it.

There’s certainly no evidence to suggest He didn’t.

Well touché, my friend. Are you saying this because you think it’s possible that Christ was a gambler? (Not just “that he gambled”, but “was a gambler”; in other words, that it was a habit or pastime of His.) Please reconcile that with the Church’s teaching on gambling.

No, I’ll leave you to try to reconcile that straw-man you’ve invented (in contradiction to the reported facts as I mentioned above) with the Church’s teaching.

In any case, what the priest said would be taken as an explicit endorsement of gambling by the congregation. This is scandal.

Why don’t you focus on the real scandals in the Church and the world instead of trying to invent a non-existent “scandal” about something which is not scandalous.

In the major cities of Australia and I’m sure in other countries, there is an annual “Racing fraternity Mass” for all those in the horse-racing industry, a disproportionate number of whom are Catholics, and practising Catholics. I suppose your Puritan mind is also “scandalised” by them and by the priests who celebrate these Masses.

Btw the ancient Church had similar canons against going to theatres and dance halls - in fact right up until modern times these were forbidden to the clergy. Are you equally “scandalised” by these ““borderline” activities that are at the least fraught with moral danger”?

You mean His omniscience. The Church teaches that when our Lord became Man He voluntarily “set aside” His omniscience and His omnipotence. So He could gamble without knowing the outcome for certain and without sinning. (My line earlier about Him knowing which horse would win was a joke, as indicated by the Big Grin.)

It certainly deepens my understanding of our Lord and of Christianity the way the OP has explained it in context as the priest said. I suggest you reflect on it. It is far from ridiculous and counters the impression many people seem to have, that Christianity is meant to be all about abstaining from anything that’s enjoyable and going around frowning all the time and searching for scandal in the behaviour of our neighbours.

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