Who would be the rich and privileged in Jesus' day?


It wasn’t like it is today with successful business men. Was it the landowners, religious leaders, royalty?

"he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.’’
(Luke 1:53)


I found this article to be interesting.


The Sadducees were in alliance with the Roman authorities and were generally the political rulers and elite members of the upper class.



I think the Jewish priests were wealthy as were Roman leaders and merchants etc.


Political, military, and religious leaders were wealthy. About 1-2% of the population controlled half the wealth. About 70% lived in poverty.


I think it would be a mistake to suppose that “the rich” ONLY refers to worldly wealth. It can also be someone who is very smart, very talented, very good looking, or possessed of any other human quality and considers those talents or qualities his own riches. Our wealth and joy are in the Lord God. Everything else we have is from God, and belongs to God.

Therefore the rich are sent away empty (without His “riches” i.e. sanctifying grace)


Jesus seemed to be interested in fa

ir treatment. He was against hording for oneself. He mentions things on several occasions that were seemingly against the rich. He said it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to enter the eye of a needle. I was just curious about the socio economic balance in his day. Were the poor opressed by the rich? Is that what Jesus saw? Who were the rich people that were being criticized?

I don’t think all rich people are necessarily bad. If for instance they give a lot to the poor, etc. Some people may be called to ministry in that way. But Jesus did say the root of all evil is love of money. He must of saw the corruption in his day. Perhaps the religious leaders, were not just hypocrites but greedy also.


The poor were not oppressed as one thinks of a slave in the US South being oppressed, but their material poverty caused them problems, of course, just as poverty today causes problems. Some slaves were treated quite well.

I think Jesus was speaking of men who were more interested in acquiring material goods than in advancing their spiritual life. Many wealthy people, today as well, get caught up in materialism and “forget” about God.


Yes, even many poor people get ‘caught up in materialism and “forget” about God’. I think the element that Jesus is also concerned with that the rich can have that the poor don’t so much is the ability to help those in need, but choosing not to do so for whatever reason. Hoarding it for oneself without regard for others. Like the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Or the parable of the landowner who hoarded all his grain. Jesus sees an injustice in those who have plenty not sharing with those in need.

Rather than just taking a negative view and saying if you don’t share there will be consequences, Jesus takes the positive view and apeals to us by saying build up for yourselves treasure in heaven. Jesus gets us out of our materialism by drawing our attention to heaven and eternity, because this life is not all there is.




Good point.


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