How Did Jesus and His Disciples Earn Money?

When we think of Jesus and his disciples, we often imagine them walking around preaching and healing, without any concern for money. However, this is far from the truth.

In fact, like any other person of their time, Jesus and his disciples needed to earn money to survive. Let’s take a closer look at how they did it.

Jesus and His Work as a Carpenter

Before he started his ministry, Jesus worked as a carpenter in Nazareth. This was a common profession at the time, and it’s likely that Jesus learned the trade from his earthly father Joseph. As a carpenter, Jesus would have made items such as doors, windows, furniture and tools for people in his town.

The Disciples: A Diverse Group

Jesus’ disciples were a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and skills. Some were fishermen like Peter, James and John (Mark 1:16-20); others were tax collectors like Matthew (Matthew 9:9); still others were tradesmen like Paul the tentmaker (Acts 18:1-3). It’s likely that each disciple used their own skills to earn money when they weren’t travelling with Jesus.

Donations from Supporters

Despite their professions, it’s clear that Jesus and his disciples didn’t live luxurious lives. In fact, they often relied on donations from supporters to meet their needs. Luke 8:1-3 tells us that women who had been cured by Jesus supported him financially out of their own means.

No Hoarding of Wealth

It’s important to note that while Jesus and his disciples earned money to survive, they didn’t hoard it or seek after wealth for its own sake. In fact, Jesus taught against greed and materialism throughout his ministry (Luke 12:15).


In conclusion, Jesus and his disciples were not exempt from the need to earn money to survive. Jesus worked as a carpenter before starting his ministry, while his disciples likely used their own skills and professions to support themselves.

However, they also relied on donations from supporters and did not seek after wealth for its own sake. This serves as a reminder that even the most holy among us have practical needs and concerns.